It seems that God gives some people good advice for escaping an attack by an enemy army and other people bad advice. For instance, in Matthew 24:15-18, Scripture states:
When therefore ye shall see the abomination of desolation which was told of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, let him that readeth understand, then let them who are in Judea flee into the mountains; let him that is upon the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house; and let him that is in the field not return back to take his garment.
It makes perfect sense to warn people to run for the hills to find safety. But God’s advice for others to stay on their rooftops and even for nudists to keep their clothes off at the approach of an attacking army seems a bit risky.
Those who stay on their roofs can at least delay their inevitable capture. But God’s counsel for those running around in the field nude to simply keep their clothes off during an attack only adds a sense of awkwardness to a bad situation.
Since God is All Wise, this advice should not be questioned, even if you are a nudist (nor should anyone suddenly put their clothes back on and claim to be an atheist).
Jokes aside, what are we to learn from God’s revealed wisdom?
The lesson here is spiritual—not worldly. The biblical passage quoted above is meant to symbolize a higher spiritual meaning. The attack God is warning people against is an attack from evil and false influences—all the things that attack and destroy the human soul. This symbolic interpretation is what is meant by the words “let him that readeth understand.”
In any community, you will have people representing different levels of spiritual growth. God’s different advice represents lessons for various people on these different levels when they are coming under spiritual attack (temptations). Those on the highest level (Judea—who love the Lord God) must keep their mind elevated towards heavenly things (flee into the mountains). The symbolism here is simple but it gets more challenging.
Those below this level (who love the neighbor) must also keep their mind elevated (stay on the housetop) without going down and taking belongings out of the house. Things “down in the house” represent the “lower” things of our character, which will not help us against temptation.
The final level represents the average good person who respects God’s truth and therefore lives a moral and ethical life. This last group are described as wandering in the field naked because they are more “earthly” (field) yet living in relative innocence (nakedness). If they were to go back to their houses and put their garments back on, this would symbolize returning to former hurtful ideas that they had already stripped themselves of.
So God’s advice and strategy was focused on protecting people on these three distinct levels of spirituality from attacks on their souls. Aren’t you relieved that God would never ask you to do something silly?