“Otherwise, I will strip her naked and expose her as on the day she was born. I will also make her like a wilderness, make her like desert land, and put her to death with thirst.”
Have you ever been caught naked by someone? It can be quite embarrassing. I have had dreams of being caught somewhere without clothing. Now, don’t ask me why I am dreaming such things. I have no idea. But being without clothing can be humiliating. It’s not a situation in which you want to find yourself.
God is dishing out judgment here. He is laying out the punishment for Israel if they do not return. It wasn’t unusual for defeated people to be stripped naked before they were marched off into exile. It demeaned the people. It shamed them. God was warning them what was to come if they didn’t repent.
Today is Valentine’s Day. I can’t say this verse fits that. Being humiliated and embarrassed isn’t exactly what that day is all about, is it? That day is about love. Now, hold on for a second. Why do you think God is warning Israel about the encroaching judgment? Because He loves them.
If God didn’t love us, He wouldn’t discipline us. He would let us go on our merry way and live like we want to. Because He loves us, He gave us His Word to live by. It points us in the right direction. He tells us the consequences of our actions. God is constantly drawing us to Himself. We have to decide if we want to obey or not, but we don’t get to choose whether or not to receive consequences.
Do you think you are getting by thumbing your nose at God? Do you think He is simply ignoring your behaviors? Think again. Don’t find yourself one day naked and humiliated. God will hold true to His Word. He has to. He’s God. And when His patience is done, you will receive His just wrath. That is not a threat. It’s a promise.
I do not want to be naked and alone, God. I want to be clothed by Your righteousness. I cling to You.