Summary: It’s a lot easier to witness with your clothes on than if you were naked...
Have you ever had one of those dreams? One of those dreams where you’re getting ready for the party of the year, it’s the biggest thing and every one will be there so you want to look your best. You spend hours getting ready, guys, you slick your hair back and comb your sideburns and put on your dad’s best aftershave, you’re lookin’ groovy. Girls you spend a couple hours picking out the right dress and then after deliberating over sixteen different pairs of shoes you decide to change your dress anyway. Your hair is perfect and you just had an expensive manicure, you’re looking “shmashing”. (read like Sean Connary might say it) You get in your car and go to the party, everything is working like clockwork. You arrive at the party, fashionably late, for the purpose of everyone there to see your triumphant entry. You look through the window on the way to the door, sure enough, everybody is there, everyone who’s somebody that is. You take one more look at yourself in the brass knocker on the door to make sure everything is okay, and then your turn the door knob and the door opens.
One by one the heads turn, and one by one the mouths drop open, the music that was grooving when you opened the door comes to a screeching halt, everyone is speechless and the crickets start to chirp even louder. “Wow” you think to yourself, “I must look better than I thought” You start to walk in, and everyone’s eyes follow. You decide that the view must be so great you’ll take a peak yourself. You look down and you see the same thing your mom saw when she gave birth to you, you’re completely naked!
There are many things in life that can make us uncomfortable. Being naked is obviously one of them. The Bible references to many different people who were caught naked. Adam and Eve were caught naked, even thought they had never been naked before, they somehow knew it was wrong and they went and hid themselves. It was an uncomfortable experience even back then. The word “naked” appears in the Bible 35 times. It is associated with shame, and some references in the Bible even refer to “looking upon the nakedness” as sexual intercourse. Whatever the case, nakedness is associated with shame and uncleanliness.
There was a case of streaker who got caught naked on the night the guards came to take Jesus away from the garden of Gethsemane. There was a young man there as mentioned in Mark. (Mark 14:51 TLB) There was, however, a young man following along behind, clothed only in a linen nightshirt. When the mob tried to grab him, verse 52 continues, he escaped, though his clothes were torn off in the process, so that he ran away completely naked. Some Bible scholars have argued that this could have been Mark himself, and he was embarrassed to admit the fact that he ran from the scene, and probably the part that convinced him to leave out a name the most was the fact that he ran away naked. Would you be willing to divulge this information if it was you who was caught running away naked?
Isaiah is considered, according to the SDA Bible Commentary, to be “the literary masterpiece of all Hebrew literature”. He is definitely one of the most powerful and effective prophets. He is well known for his prophesies of the messiah, and is a reference readily used by Handel when he was writing The Messiah. Hebrew calls him a “nabi” which is the word they use for a true prophet. He is quoted by the New Testament over ninety times, more than any other prophet. One of the things that isn’t too commonly known about Isaiah is the fact that he got caught walking around Jerusalem naked for three years! Not only was it surprising to me to find out that Isaiah walked around naked for three years, but the fact that God is the one who instructed him to do this. Why would God ask Isaiah to do such a seemingly bizarre thing? What are we to learn from these accounts in the Bible of naked people?
When God asked Isaiah to walk naked in the city for three years it was for a reason. God never does anything without a reason. Throughout history God’s people have come to be known as stubborn and hard headed, in other words we have a hard time listening to God and doing as He asks. So there have been occasions where God had to do drastic things in order to get our attention. Isaiah, among other prophets, had prophesized the fall of Jerusalem. God’s people thought that they didn’t have anything to worry about because they had a covenant with God, they were invincible. So they thought. Isaiah predicted that they would be led out of Jerusalem naked and barefoot. Are you beginning to see the connection? Everyone had a reminder for three years of how Jerusalem would fall and how they would be led out in humility.