Today's Scripture takes a momentary break from proclaiming burdens; Isaiah is commanded to be a sign in Ethiopia and Egypt for three years.
Isaiah Chapter 20
Lessons from the text
Sometimes, God has to put on a show to get our attention. Telling a man to walk around naked for three years is hardly a mild-mannered way to say something. God knows exactly what it will take to get our attention. It may be something as small as a touch of tenderness from the Holy Spirit; it may be as drastic as destroying a nation.
God says that He is a stumbling block to many. Why? God, by forcing someone to stumble over Him, is trying to say, "Look! I'm right here!" The ways of God trip up the person doesn't know Him; it interrupts their daily life when they come face-to-face with the reality of God's existence. If after seeing the works of God and the testimony of believers they choose not to believe, then they fall under the judgment of God.
What does it take for God to get your attention?
Does He have to ask you two, three, ten times before you hear? Does He have to knock you down with an illness so that you have the time to listen to Him? Does your bank account have to hit zero before you realize you need His help?
Every Sunday and Wednesday God through preaching is proclaiming His word and His will for your life. If we don't pay attention to the sermons, and if we don't listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to us in our daily lives, just how far will God go to get our attention?
Considering what His prophets have done in the past and the amazing action of Jesus upon the cross, I honestly don't believe there is anything God won't try to get our attention. We may choose to ignore His calling, but I can guarantee you that at some point in everyone's life God has tried to get your attention.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 This prophecy was given when Egypt and Ethiopia were attempting to cripple the growth of the Assyrian empire. In 721BC, Ashdod with the help of Egyptian forces rebelled against Assyria. They were defeated and Ashdod put under submission. In just 50 years Egypt itself would be conquered.
2-3 God sometimes commanded His prophets to do outlandish things to bring attention. Then, when the people would ask, "What are you doing?" he would then be able to declare the words of God with the full attention of people. For example, God commanded Ezekiel to eat dung (Ez 4:12) and Jeremiah to bury a pair of underwear (Jer 13:1-4).
4 Being naked is to be barren before God and others. All of one's secret parts are discovered (Jer 13:25-27) meaning all the filth one tries to cover up is brought to the light. When naked, it is impossible to hide anything. Not only would Egypt be conquered, but they would also be put to this shame.
5 The people of this time looked to Egypt and Ethiopia for deliverance from the Assyrians, but Ethiopia's military might and all the riches of Egypt could not save them in their time of trouble.
6 With their last hope destroyed, all the peoples of the land are given to despair. When war comes and defeat is apparent, people wonder what good it is to even try to escape.
Please comment below to share what you learned from today's lesson.