He set His face like flint

Isaiah 50:4-7

“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples,
That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient
Nor did I turn back.
I gave My back to those who strike Me,
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
For the Lord God helps Me,
Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.” (NASB)

As Christmas drew near, I found myself in the Gospels reading about the birth of Jesus and marveling at all the beautiful, intricate details leading up to His coming. I fought to get out of bed to read before the kids got up. Not happening every morning, but I was sure trying!

One morning, I remembered that in Isaiah 53, there is a point by point, word by word picture painted of our Savior, many years before He was born. So, I turned there to begin reading. But as I scanned the phrases in the chapters before, I couldn’t just start at Isaiah 53. I began around Isaiah 46, and needless to stay, I have just now gotten to this passage.

But Isaiah 50:4-7 stopped me in my tracks, among others. Look at who Jesus is and Who gives Him such attributes. Jesus has the ability to speak, so as to comfort those in distress (verse 4). God gets Him up and helps Him listen and obey as a child and disciple. Jesus kept his focus on the cross, “Nor did I turn back,” verse 5. He willingly took the punishment that was meant for us. “I gave my back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.” Yet, with all the grueling beatings and lashings and dishonor, Jesus’s confidence was in the Lord God, and He knew He was not “disgraced.”

And here is a sweet, sweet phrase: “Therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.” To set ones face like flint is to be firm in his decision to do something and not be deterred. Though Jesus endured persecution from the onset of His life, knowing the road He would walk in obedience to the Father, He did not shrink back. He knew God’s promise for Him. And He pressed on, knowing He would not be ashamed in the end.

“I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.” How can we be deterred from walking in obedience to what God has called us to? Other people’s opinions? The world’s “demands?” Our own selfishness? Sorrow and grief?

I am often deterred from reacting and speaking gently and in a way that really shows our children Jesus. Being with our children all day long, I often get weary. Yes, taking breaks throughout the week definitely helps and is a key to fighting exhaustion and being overwhelmed. But, what about in those moments when I have been interrupted for the umpteenth time and the messes keep happening and everyone is starving for lunch? Set my face like a flint. FIGHT. Stay the course. Never am I entitled to take out my frustrations on these kiddos. Nope. Remind myself of the goal in this. To be pleasing to the Father in all I do. ALL.

Set my face like flint. Set your face like flint. What has He called you to do? Do you know? Ask Him! Wait for Him. Live your life for Him and you “will not be put to shame.”


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