Monday, June 27, 2005

Isaiah, take off everything including your Sandals!

Isaiah 20 is an interesting text. It would certainly be enjoyed by most Middle School boys.
In the text Isaiah is told to go around naked, and in particular to take off his sandals. Isaiah says that he followed the Lord's command, for it was the Lord who told him to go around naked. (What would our culture do today with someone running around naked attributing the cause to God? Nuthouse for sure.) He went naked for three years and without his sandals.

I came across this text in my devotions while at teen camp and have been perplexed over the insistence on the removal of the sandals. Had I been the prophet I think I would have been floored to hear I was to remove a loin cloth. But Isaiah notes twice - the sandals had to go. No other specifics item of clothing is mentioned.

When I pose this question to others we tend to think along the same lines: the sandals represent the essentials. One can go without a loin cloth, but the last item of necessity, or perceived necessity is that of the sandals. Someone also said, a slave would be noted for being shoeless. Isaiah's nakedness was a foretelling of coming slavery and nakedness for others who had left the covenant with God.

Isaiah is the Lords servant, and as the Lord's servant he is stripped of the most necessary items.

I've been watching people who are being stripped, not of clothes, but of what they believe to be necessary items for a happy life. In some ways I've been down this road - it's no walk in the park. Yet the nature of discipleship brings to us these moments, when for God's greater glory, and our eternal refinement we loose everything, even our Sandals.

At the outset, this text will make MS guys laugh. But not so for those who ponder it's profound meaning.

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