The Need for Nakedness
Dr. Kluane Spake http://kluane.com
At the center of the created universe, the first couple stood as the crowning glory of creation — naked and unashamed. The Lord God looked at that naked couple and said it was “GOOD.” There are times when being naked are in God’s perfect will.
The Need for Nakedness
It all points back to the fact that naked humanity was created in God’s image and likeness. Of course, we know that consciousness of sin came at the Fall and the need to cover their shame with leaves and then skins immediately seemed necessary.
The point of this article is that as Christians, we often clothe ourselves with fig-leaves of social and ministerial expectation. Surely, the Lord is speaking to us about taking off the leaves of shame and sin — and becoming more authentic, and not trying to bamboozle our way through life trying to be something or someone else.
There is some ambiguity in the translations… some assuming that the word for “naked” wasn’t really being naked. Perhaps, translators tampered with the original Hebrew and Greek, because they found nudity too embarrassing. But, the study of the original language seems to substantiate nakedness means “no clothes.” But, whatever you believe is fine… Historically, a loin cloth or underwear wasn’t typically worn during this time.
Hebrews 4:13 (NKJV) “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
We want to proceed with caution on this topic, understanding that “underneath it all” nakedness represents the purity of living as a Christian without pretense.
In the Old Testament men came under the influence of the Holy Spirit and took off their clothes and prophesied and praised God.
“…Then the Spirit of God was upon Saul also, and he went on and prophesied … And he also stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’” (1 Sam.19:23-24).
Notice this was by the “Spirit of God.” By laying down naked Saul was divested of his position, his armor, and his fancy robes. He was at this moment, no longer a faithless king. Apparently nakedness was normal behavior for prophets? Nakedness identified Saul as a prophet. We could wonder then, if the other prophets were clothed?
Can you imagine if any of this happened today? We’d be in jail.
THE LORD God told Isaiah to walk naked and barefoot and minister throughout the land for three years — which was symbolic of the Assyrians conquering Egypt and Ethiopia. “The Lord spoke by Isaiah… saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet,” and he did so, walking naked and barefoot (Is. 20:2).
This action is what was called pedagogy — one action given to illustrate another truth. Isaiah was instructed to be a sign and warning to the Egyptians and Ethiopians that would make them afraid and to say they would become slaves of the Assyrians under Sargon’s rule. The ESV translations says he was, “Naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, like the nakedness of Egypt.”
Why 3 years? It seems to represent to us the end of bondage and rebellion. God had Isaiah deliver his message naked, which was considered one of the most shameful things that could happen, so that the peoples of Egypt and Ethiopia would realize what was ahead.
It is difficult to imagine that Isaiah traveled from place to place and conducted meetings and prophesied to people while being fully naked. I mean, think about it!
Micah had to go naked, there was not choice. At times nakedness is exactly what God wanted. “Because of this I must lament and wail, I must go barefoot and naked; I must make a lament like the jackals and a mourning like the ostriches” (Mic. 1:8).
These prophets apparently didn’t wear clothes — at least not much, but it was a nonsexual nudity. It was never an exhibition or immodesty. It was obedience to the Lord — for a greater purpose.
These Old Testament prophets were sometimes called to remove all the leaves and be naked in order to obey and be free.
Free from pleasing people.
Free from ambition.
Free from the desire for popularity and admiration.
Free from the fear of humiliation and shame.
Free from the impulse to be proud or boastful
Free from the need to prove anything to anyone.
Free to be transparent.
Free to allow the Lord to supply our needs.
Free from our reputation.
Free from the need to prove ourselves or to be in competition.
Free from thinking of yourself more highly than you ought.
Free from false identity.
Thankfully, the Lord is not calling us to physical nudity anymore in our daily life. BUT… He is demanding that we start being REAL!
The pretense of life and ministry has to GO!
This is a time for true humility — to be exactly who you are.
No more facades, no more presumption.
The Lord is looking for authenticity!
No veneer of being what you are not.
No pretentiousness. No false front.
No more “performance.” No pretending.
No more deception or deceit.
No more affectation.
No more theatrics.
No more putting on airs.
No showing off.
No more haughtiness!
No more pomposity.
No more ostentation.
No more braggadocio and bravado.
No more delusion.
Maybe we have a thing or two to learn?
It is important to ask the right questions and take a moment for introspection. Let us take off the fig leaves of pretense and serve the Lord with renewed passion.
“Lord we lift up our eyes to you and give you thanks.”