Are you willing to be humiliated? As the kids and I read through Isaiah 20, this was one of the main questions that came to mind.
Are you willing to be Humiliated?
What would be the most humiliating thing you can think of that God might ask you to do?
In my wildest dreams I would not have thought God would ask this of anyone, but as I read it out loud to my kids, I realized that what God asks us to do is often for the benefit of others and can put us in an earthly humiliating position.
How was Isaiah Humilated?
[God] said to [Isaiah], “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.”
And [Isaiah] did so, going around stripped and barefoot.
Then the LORD said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exciles, young and old, with buttocks bared – to Egypt’s shame.
Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be afraid and put to shame. In that day people who live on the on this coast will say, “See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria!
How then can we escape?”Isaiah 20:2-6
3 years of Nakedness? Really?
I’ve been to topless beaches in Europe, where I kept my suit on, and even then I couldn’t fathom being uncovered.
But without hesitation Isaiah took of his shoes and his clothes. Yes, it was sackcloth, and I’m sure he was relieved to not be wearing that itchy, old, uncomfortable piece of clothing, but naked for 3 years!
Isaiah exchanged his sackcloth for nothing that would protect him from the sun, insects, or the chapping wind!
For 3 years, he boldly walked in what others would consider humiliation. This was surely a sign that did not go unnoticed by the population of people he passed by.
Although he may have seemed like the emperor with no clothes, he knew he didn’t have any clothes. However, he had a calling and his crown is definitely waiting for him in heaven. He obeyed even in the midst of earthly humiliation.
Will we be as willing?
Will we be as willing as Isaiah to go through with what God asks us to do?
I pray so, if it comes to that. If so, then we truly will be following in Jesus’ steps as earthly humiliation followed him being beaten and nailed to the cross.
“Remember what I told you:
‘A servant is not greater than his master.’
If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey your also.– Jesus, John 15:20
Humble ourselves to God
Although, I do believe that God won’t call many followers to replicate Isaiah’s physical act of obedience in order to warn others, I do believe God expects us to humble ourselves to Him every day.
For the Sake of Others
Most definitely, Isaiah streaked across the countryside not in fun as a college student who is trying to get into a fraternity but as a man of God who was trying to turn the attention of others back to their Creator and true Savior.
You see, what was happening was any time God’s people were in trouble or scared, they would run to others instead of running to the only One who has ever truly delivered them, the LORD.
Who Do We Run to In Times of Trouble?
This is a question that we must ask ourselves. Because if we don’t have the courage to ask this question, we stand to be humiliated but not by choice.
Isaiah made the choice to humiliate himself to the world by humbling himself to God.
If we choose to not humble ourselves to God and put our trust in others, we will be humiliated for all the world to see. It may happen in this physical life or it may be the ultimate humiliation that leads to damnation and destruction in the next.
Prayer Over Our Hearts
Lord, you suffered the ultimate humiliation for us on the cross. Physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, you sacrificed your whole self to save us!
Lord, we pray we will lean into your courage and strength and trust you above anyone else on earth. May we hold your opinion and your truth in it’s rightful place and seek your approval over the approval of man.
In Jesus’ powerful name we pray – Amen!