Dear Gifted Girl,
Setting our faces like flint is not a defensive act of resilience. No. Setting our faces like flint is a response to the help of the Lord.
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 ESV
Read Isaiah 50, a few chapters preceding and following, and find the will of the Servant. According to the ESV commentary, “The servant chose his sufferings willingly and he moves forward with resolute determination, confident in God’s overwhelming help (2008, p. 1333).
This is a popular phrase among Christians. It means we harden our resolve to do the will of God. We will set our stance, fix our gaze, and not be moved from the Father’s last instruction. We stand as if our strength is the solution, and we “determine” by an act of will to rebel against “the wiles of the devil.”
Verses 4-9, according to the commentary, make up the third of four servant’s songs. The focus of this short passage is the Servant as a rejected prophet (ESV commentary, 2008, p. 1333). The Servant suffers to sustain others.
Read that again.
Gifted Girls, we must allow pain to become sustaining… in the way of the Lord. How we do that varies as we wisely choose where to cast our pearls of transparency. But sustaining still. After we acknowledge the work of the Lord we declare His help is what protects us and births confidence in us about His ability for us.
- He gave us the tongue of disciples to know how to give sustaining words to the weary (v. 4)
- Every morning he opens our ear to hear like one who walks with Him (v. 4)
- We submitted to the open ear… we submitted forward (v. 5, don’t miss that!)
- In response, we volunteered our backs to the strikers and our cheeks to the beard-pullers (v. 6)
- In response, we kept our face uncovered from the attacks (v. 6)
- But stronger than our backs and our cheeks, stronger than our open faces, is the help of the Lord (v. 7)
Awareness of the Lord’s help changes perspective. Even though we volunteered to intercede, His help means we know no disgrace (v. 7). Because we trust His help, we set our faces like flint and expect no shame.
What is flint? It is material used for producing a spark (www.merriam-webster.com). We set our faces — our senses of sight, smell, taste, and hearing — to be enlightened by the Lord’s help. We set our faces to see the help, hear and experience the help, to endure the suffering we volunteered to take.
I know, it’s a little heavy, but it’s where many of us and where some of us are going. Is there not a cause? I just want us to know that when the time comes to give our backs and cheeks, and to face the attacks, “but the Lord helps us.”
May the Lord keep our hearts in perfect peace and we set our faces to be ignited by holy fire.
With all my love and prayers…