Prayer for the day
Bow down your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and in misery. Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful; save your servant who puts his trust in you.
Scripture for the day
It’s hard to believe, especially when you look at the times he was living in, but Paul was convinced that the Christians in Ephesus were not struggling primarily with people. Their fight was not with the governmental officials, nor the leaders of the church. Their fight was not with merchants or traders or Pharisees or Sadducees. Their fight was not against flesh and blood.
The fight the Christians had on their hands, the true struggle, was how to be faithful in the midst of significant spiritual hardship. Their fight was against the powers of evil in the spiritual realms, as well as the systemic evil those demonic forces built up on earth.
Paul has reasoned this far that the way Christians treat each other is important. He now comes to the crux of his argument: the way we treat each other here and now will stand as a sign of our struggle against the powers that seek to cause us to live another way, the way of the world.
Isaiah was commanded by God to act as a similar sign against Egypt and Cush. In one of the strangest commands He ever gives, God forces Isaiah to walk around stark naked for three years in order to be a living signpost to the judgment of God on Egypt and Cush. He points to the eventual “stripping” of these nations, a symbolic account of them being destroyed. While this may seem excessive and bizarre, it was an extraordinary attention-grabbing act that certainly achieved the intended effect.
While I wouldn’t recommend walking around naked for three years, the point made is that God’s commands often are given to reflect the character or action of God. We exist as his signposts, to point people to the reason He does what He does.
Be a good post.