Isaiah 20: 1-2. ” In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it: At the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins and put off thy shoe from thy foot.And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.”
We now go back to the imminent attack of Assyria on Judah. The six verses in this chapter are in Israel’s immediate future.
This chapter was a warning to Israel not to depend upon the help of Egypt and Ethiopia against Sargon, but to depend wholly on God. Assyria had already conquered Syria, Ephraim, and Philistia, and was now ready to conquer Judah (2 Kings 16:5-18; 37.) Tartan was one of the generals of Assyria. (Sargon is thought to be the same as Sennacherib.)
At the same time, God spoke to Isaiah, telling him to remove his clothing and his shoes. And Isaiah did it. He was to be a sign from God, a warning that would grab their attention, as he walked naked and barefoot as he spoke to the people.
You can be sure he had their attention. I have wondered how hard it was for Isaiah to be obedient. It was a humiliating thing that God asked of him. It seems, though, that he didn’t hesitate to obey.