Prayer Focus: Iran

Bible Reading: Isaiah 18-22


0 In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it— 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.   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 exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared —to Egypt’s shame. Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be dismayed and put to shame.  In that day the people who live 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: 1-6

Observation-  Time for confession, My observation today doesn’t have a whole lot to actually do with the scripture reading.  Its more of a strange feeling I have had each time I read this passage.  My thought has to do with what would happen to Isaiah if he were living here with us today.  We’ve already seen some of the strange things that God has asked him to do…. and he did without blinking.  But can you imagine what would happen to a guy that insisted that God told him to walk around in sackcloth and ashes for years, and then told him to walk around naked for three years.  Isaiah would have been ruled mentally unstable and would probably be locked away somewhere, taking lots of medications, and experts would be helping him to sort through his feelings and to get to the problem within.    Could it be that the people that we measure as eccentric and odd, could it be those that act odd and peculiar are really prophets doing what God has told them to do.  I’ve heard Christian skeptics say that Christianity is not real because there are no prophets and there are no miracles.  What if we…. in our infinite capacity to understand each other…. are helping people to get over God…

 Application –  You know Jesus said, “When I was hungry, you gave me food.  When I was thirsty, you gave me drink. ….”  Maybe he wasn’t just teaching us to take care of ourselves.  Maybe he wasn’t just speaking metaphorically. Maybe we have as many prophets and prophetess as ever before, but they are discounted, and kept from society.  Maybe we as a society, and we as individuals,  need to think more about what these souls are saying.  Wouldn’t be ironic and embarrassing to find out when we get to heaven that we had mis-treated God’s servants and not yielded to what the Lord had for us. That we had not given him drink?

Prayer  –  Dear Lord,  help us to be ever mindful and remember that you have a purpose for each one of your children.  Help us to have an open heart and give us discernment to know your prophet and to yield to your servant.  Help us to treat each other as you see us, your creation, and your children…  In Jesus Christ name, Amen.