1 The year the commander-in-chief came to Ashdod, after Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and he took it, 2 during that time, Yahveh had spoken by the hand of Isaiah son of Amoz, saying, “Go and take off the sackcloth from your loins, and remove each sandal from your feet,” and he had done so, walking naked and barefoot. 3 Then Yahveh said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years — a sign and a warning against Egypt and Cush, 4 in the same way the king of Assyria will lead the captive of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old, naked and barefoot, and bare of buttocks — the shame of Egypt. 5 And they will be distressed, and they will be embarrassed because of Cush, their hope, and because of Egypt, their pride. 6 And an inhabitant of the coastland will say this on that day: ‘Look! This, our hope, to whom we escaped for help, to be delivered from the face of the king of Assyria, and how will we escape now?'”
embarrassed by false hope
It would have been embarrassing to see the great prophet walking around naked and barefoot for three years. The people probably thought that he had finally lost it – that he had gone utterly mad. All this time they were thinking that God was going to rescue them from the Assyrian threat by means of Egypt and Cush. Then God tells them that it is this false hope that they should be ashamed of.
LORD, forgive us for putting our hope in flesh. It is hard to see your invisible hand, and it is easy to grasp at some other form of rescue, and assume that you are in it. May we put our hope in you alone.
LORD, may we who are being tempted to put our hope in the wrong place be reminded of your power and faithfulness.