Daily Devotions


Day 139

"In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod"

Text: Isaiah 20:1


Ashdod was one of the five major cities that comprised Philistia. Each city had its own king, but collectively, they formed the feared Philistines. They were enemies of Israel for millennia. Assyria sent a powerful force that saw Ashdod captured.

“In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod,
when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,
and he fought against Ashdod and took it,
at the same time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying,
‘Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body,
and take your sandals off your feet.’
And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.”
Isaiah 20:1-2

1. Sargon of Assyria.

a) He sent a war general called Tartan.

b) Tartan defeated Ashdod soundly.

2. Isaiah the prophet in sackcloth.

a) He was dressed in sackcloth at that time.

b) He was in mourning for the defeat of Ashdod as it also spelt trouble for Judah.

c) Wearing sackcloth symbolized:

i) Sadness.

ii) Seeking God humbly and urgently.

iii) The sackcloth was worn as an outer garment.

3. God’s special word to Isaiah.

a) What was worse than wearing sackcloth?

b) It was to remove the sackcloth!

c) Isaiah was however, not told to wear another outer garment.

d) That would mean that he was “naked” (not to be taken literally).

e) He was also to go about “barefoot”.

f) Isaiah obeyed the LORD for he was to become “an object lesson” for Judah.

g) The symbolic meaning was clear to all:

i) There would be hard times ahead.

ii) Many would become impoverished.

iii) They would not be able to afford an outer garment.

iv) They would not even have shoes to wear!