Scripture

Isaiah 19:24 (NIV)

The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”

Isaiah 20:2-3 (NIV)

2 at that time the Lord spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. He said to him, “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.” And he did so, going around stripped and barefoot.
3 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,

Observation

Sometimes, when I read and listen to the daily Bible reading some verses stand out more than others. Often, I will spend time comparing different Bible versions to gain a better understanding of the text. I also find that reading different commentaries on verses helps with my understanding in addition to looking up the individual words in Hebrew and Greek. While I usually only share on a single topic, I “discovered” so many interesting tidbits today that I’m going to touch on each of them.

I’m always amazed that I can read the Bible over and over and yet still come across “new” things. For example, I don’t remember ever noticing before that God referred to the people of Egypt as “His people.” Egypt, in my mind, had always been this place that people were delivered from. No one ought to want to go back there. God even warned future kings of Israel to not buy horses from there (Deuteronomy 17:16). However, here we see that the Egyptians, before the birth of Jesus, were considered by God to be blessed. This makes me wonder, why?

It turns out that in the 2nd and 3rd centuries BCE that Egypt is where the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek. You may have heard of this text, called the Septuagint. That’s a big deal since most of the early Christians were Greeks who would have wanted to read the Old Testament to learn more about how the coming of Jesus was foretold in the Old Testament. Furthermore, the Septuagint is a principal text used in translating the Old Testament from Greek, not Hebrew as one might think (Septuagint). This is just one way that the people of Egypt have been a blessing to every Believer today!

I’m always struck by the faith of people in the Bible. Especially the prophets. It takes a lot of faith to tell people that they need to straighten up and fly right. When you think of how nervous you might be when you think of sharing the gospel with others, just think of the prophets and then know that the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say. I don’t know what translation of the Bible that you read when you read the Bible. My principal version is the NIV (New International Version). This was the version that I had in my first Bible as a Believer. I don’t think that I’m unusual in that respect. I know of a lot of people who were first introduced to Christianity through the King James version and that’s what they read. As I mentioned before, I think it’s a good idea to have several different versions available to you to better understand God’s word.

This leads me to these verses here in Isaiah (Isaiah 20:2-3). When I first listened to these today I heard that Isaiah walked around barefoot and naked for three years. This wasn’t new to me, I’ve read this before and today, when I heard it, it occurred to me that walking around naked because God said to do so required a lot of faith. However, something else sort of rubbed me the wrong way about it. I knew that God had something more for us today, so I compared the text to different translations, 27 to be exact (Biblehub.com). Most of the versions, from King James to Young’s Literal Translation said that Isaiah walked around “naked” for three years. As a matter of fact, 23 out of the 27 different versions used the word “naked” to described Isaiah’s dress.

I won’t take you through the rest of the journey that was looking into whether or not Isaiah was completely nude or not. However, I will tell you that, from what I discovered, and what I know of the character of God, that Isaiah wasn’t completely nude. He likely walked around barefoot and in a loincloth that showed his bare buttocks. We know that Isaiah walked around like this to show how captives would be treated, “with buttocks bared” (Isaiah 20:4). Therefore, it’s logical to presume that Isaiah also was told by God to walk around in this shameful manner. This, in no way, is a detriment to the notion that Isaiah had great faith. It does, however, reveal that God will not ask you or me to do something lewd or crass for Him to get His point across.

When I think of how far I usually have to go to have a better understanding of God’s word it occurs to me that the reason why I will often stop and take note of a verse is that I’m growing in my relationship with the Lord. As we get to know the Lord better we develop a relationship with Him. As we develop a relationship with God we get to know His character. I’ve often heard it said, and if I’m honest, have said, that God’s ways are not our ways, so if He asks us to do something illogical to us then we ought to remember that we can’t understand Him and just do it. However, God is logical in everything that He does and although we may not understand why things happen the way that they do, God will not go against His nature.

Therefore, to know the nature of God we need to know Him, and we can only get to know God by spending time with Him. One of the best ways, I’ve found, to spend time with God is by reading my Bible, so pick up yours and hear what He’s telling you today.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. Nothing is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.