Isaiah 20:2: “at the same time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, ‘Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet.’ And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.”

February 9th, 2018 by Pastor Ed in devotional

God gave the prophet Isaiah this strange and humbling instruction to walk naked and barefoot as he ministered. There is some question of whether Isaiah was totally naked or wearing a loincloth. Most experts believe he was expected to wear a loincloth, but the illustration remains the same: naked truth! We might think it strange and ask, “Why in the world would God require him to be naked?” The answer is that God cares deeply about His people. The Lord knew it would take something like this to grab their attention. They were hardened and spiritually insensitive, so God needed something to shock them into listening to His message.

God is not going to call any of us to bare our bodies, but He does call us to bare our souls and share His truth with this dying world. We are called to give them the naked, honest truth that they need to surrender their lives to God. We are not called to keep this truth covered up, but to expose it to anyone who will listen. In the New Testament Book of Hebrews, we are warned: “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him” (2:3).

In the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, there was a Swiss woman trying to finish her final 400-meter race. She was no longer running and in fact was barely even walking. Fatigue and oxygen debt had caused her to slow to an agonizing limp. As she progressed slowly around the track, she became worse and worse. Several race officials walked along with her, asking if she wanted help. She waved them away. She would not be denied finishing the race. With the crowd roaring their support she finally crossed the finish line and collapsed to the ground. Her desire to persevere and finish the race was nothing short of inspirational. Despite the agony and the pain and the fatigue, she finished the race, she persevered. We are to run with just that kind of perseverance, or steadfast endurance, no matter the circumstances.

“LORD, keep us on our feet today as we run toward You.”