But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7
I care what people think about me. I want you to like me. I try and not offend you, because I don’t want you to judge or criticize me. Can you relate? Come on now, don’t leave me hanging!
As I read this verse this morning I thought about shame. Shame is an emotion that makes us feel inadequate, flawed, and exposed. It becomes the command center of our lives–we do whatever we can to stop the feeling.
For me, that means not making a phone call because I might interrupt you and you might be mad at me. Or negative self-talk that rattles around in my head when I let you down.
So, this verse sounds good to me–no shame! Wahoo. God will help me and I won’t be disgraced. But how, exactly do I stop caring what other people think about me?
I set my face like a flint. Okay. Good. But what does that mean?
Turns out these verses are talking about Jesus. When Jesus faced the pain and suffering before he went to the cross, He set his face like flint. When we back up a verse it reads,
I offered My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who tore out My beard. I did not hide My face from scorn and spittle. But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:6-7
Flint is a hard sedimentary rock. When it is struck against steel it is used to start a fire. The example Christ gave us is that when we face adversity (no matter how big or small) we can face it with peace and determination because we know it’s worthwhile in the end. When our flint is struck against steel we can blaze like a bright fire knowing he is shaping us, and we are bringing glory to God.
We find our source of identity outside ourselves. Either from other people, things, or from God. When I chose to let God define me I don’t have to crumble under others opinions of me. I can set my face like flint. I know whose opinion of me matters. When I let people down it doesn’t undo me because I remember I’m made in the image of God, He loves me so much he died for me, I’m his child, and he is a good father.