I am sure that in all the years I’ve been reading the Bible, I never realized Isaiah ran around naked for three years of his life. I have to confess that I laughed out loud when I read that today in Isaiah 20. God told him to take off his robe and shoes to demonstrate his prophesy concerning Egypt and Ethiopia.
Isaiah 20:2 says Isaiah obeyed, and walked around naked and barefoot. God wanted them to know they would be stripped of everything they thought protected them from God’s judgment. I get that. I understand the lesson Isaiah was teaching. But verse 3 tells us Isaiah taught this lesson for three years, naked and barefoot! God certainly was serious about getting his point across.
And I get the point.
God wants me to strip myself of everything I might think can shield me from his judgment. Take heart, I am fully clothed and intend on remaining so. However, in my heart I need to strip myself of all good intentions, all excuses, all church attendance and service. I need to strip myself of righteous indignation, self pity, intellect.
I need to stand naked before God and confess that I am nothing, have nothing without him. I need to let him clothe me with his righteousness because I have none of my own. I may have led a dozen people to the Lord, sung in the choir, taught Sunday School, talked the “talk”. But none of that will protect me from God’s judgment if I don’t personally and intentionally confess my sins and allow him to forgive me.
Dear God, once again I thank you for allowing your Word to speak to me today. Forgive me for thinking anything I have or have done will somehow cancel out the sins I have committed, for the sins I need to confess. Lord I stand before you naked, stripped bare of good works, good intentions, good excuses. I am a sinner. Forgive me, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Clothe me with your righteousness. Thank you for forgiveness, for life, and for your Word that speaks to those who are open to what you would have us know.