Words Of Truth
"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).
An Overview Of The Old Testament
Part 238 – In The Year That Tartan Came Unto Ashdod (Isaiah 20:1-6)
1. Who sent Tartan to Ashdod to take it?
Sargon the king of Assyria: “In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it” (Isaiah 20:1).
Š Tartan was a man of choice for invasions by the king of Assyria (II Kings 18:17).
Š Ashdod was a city of the Philistines that served the false deity Dagon (I Samuel 5:1-7).
Š God had promised a judgment on these people (Amos 1:8).
Š God would humble them (Zechariah 9:6).
Š Remember, even as we move forward through this chapter, the Assyrians were a sword of the Lord for a period of time to judge rebellious nations (Isaiah 10:5-19).
2. At the time that Tartan took Ashdod, what did God want Isaiah to do?
Strip and walk about naked and barefoot: “At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot” (Isaiah 20:2).
Š The Lord using the apparel of a prophet for a sign was not just something Isaiah experienced (Jeremiah 13:1-11).
Š Micah also stripped naked (Micah 1:1-9).
Š This is not the only time someone became nude in the sight of others for a reason other than sexual causes (I Samuel 19:18-24 and Job 1:20-21).
Š Typically, this behavior would be seen as a shameful thing (II Samuel 6:20 and Acts 19:13-17).
Š Nakedness was/is supposed to be covered (Genesis 3:21 and Exodus 28:42).
Š Yes, clothing was/is necessary, but wherein God makes an exception to His rules He can do so (cf. Matthew 19:3-9, Mark 2:23-28, and I Corinthians 7:1-5).
3. For whom did Isaiah serve as a sign in the way that he walked about?
He walked about naked for a sign upon Egypt and Ethiopia: “And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia” (Isaiah 20:3).
Š Isaiah did this, not necessarily continually, for THREE YEARS. God was certainly determined for this warning to be clear (cf. Acts 20:28-31).
Š Isaiah and his family were used as signs (Isaiah 8:18).
4. When you see how Assyria led the Egyptians and Ethiopians away, what does that show you about what God had Isaiah do?
Isaiah walking naked was the sign to Egypt and Ethiopia for how they would walk away captive: “So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt” (Isaiah 20:4).
Š God had said He was going to give the Egyptians over to a cruel lord (Isaiah 19:4).
Š God would even go as far as breaking the arm of the Pharaoh of Egypt [figuratively speaking] (Ezekiel 30:1-26). *Not that these prophesies are directly tied together.
Š God certainly is for bringing shame upon proud people (Jeremiah 13:22-27).
Š Ethiopia and Egypt were looked to and at as nations of strength (Nahum 3:9).
Š God is the ultimate humbler (Isaiah 2:11-12 and Luke 14:11).
5. How would those who looked to Ethiopia and Egypt for help feel when they saw them carried away naked and barefoot?
Fear and shame: “And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory” (Isaiah 20:5).
Š Egypt and Ethiopia was their “expectation” [hope].
Š They were not worthy of trust (II Kings 18:21 and Isaiah 30:1-7).
Š God had warned His people not to look to man or trust in man for help (Psalms 118:8-9, Psalms 146:3-4, Isaiah 2:22, and Jeremiah 17:5).
6. What did the inhabitants of the isle say when Egypt and Ethiopia were taken away?
They didn’t know who to look for help and feared not being able to escape the Assyrians: “And the inhabitant of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape” (Isaiah 20:6)?
Š The Egyptians were men, not God – now what will they do (Isaiah 31:1-3)?
Š If one rejects the will of God, how can you think you’ll escape consequences (Hebrews 2:3)?
o You will answer for it (Deuteronomy 18:19).
o Perish (Deuteronomy 30:16-18).
o Rejection (I Samuel 15:22-23).
o Wrath (Zechariah 7:8-14).
o Damnation (Mark 16:15-16).
o Vengeance (II Thessalonians 1:7-9).
o The end is fearful (Hebrews 10:26-31).
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