Background: The prophet Isaiah wrote this book to the southern tribe of Judah during a time of national emergency. The 12 tribes of Israel had been divided. 10 tribes in the north and 2 in the south (Judah was one of these). Even the tribe of Judah had turned their backs on God and were facing extinction by the cruel Assyrians. In the first 39 chapters are recorded a series of messages that Isaiah preaches over 40 years, to warn the Jews to turn away from their sin and to receive God’s forgiveness and blessing.
In chapter 20 Isaiah is told by God to act out a sign that is so unusual that the foreign people cannot fail to notice the trouble that is coming their way.
Ask the children…
What did the Lord tell Isaiah to do?
“‘Take off the burlap you have been wearing, and remove your sandals.’ Isaiah did as he was told and walked around naked and barefoot.” (Isaiah 20:2)
What did the Lord tell the people that this sign meant?
“Then the Lord said, ‘My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. This is a sign—a symbol of the terrible troubles I will bring upon Egypt and Ethiopia.[b] 4 For the king of Assyria will take away the Egyptians and Ethiopians[c] as prisoners. He will make them walk naked and barefoot, both young and old, their buttocks bared, to the shame of Egypt.'” (Isaiah 20:3, 4)
God provides a warning to these foreign people of what is going to happen to them. What a powerful sign and one that cost Isaiah everything.
Ask your children how they would feel if God asked them to perform a sign like this? Ask them how much God must have cared about even these foreign people to give them such a sign in order to get their attention and cause them to repent? Ask your children what signs that God is giving them regarding their own behavior? Broken relationships, punishments, a sick feeling inside, warnings from others, etc. Are there any things they need to repent of? Take some time now to get right with God.
Feel free to share your own stories below in the comments section.
If you like what you read about ways to teach children the Bible, check out the children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible. CHECK OUT A FREE SAMPLE OF CHAPTER ONE BELOW.