Lenten Reader | Day 35

Not Put to Shame

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
     I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
     and I know I will not be put to shame.
He who vindicates me is near.
     Who then will bring charges against me?
     Let us face each other!
Who is my accuser?
     Let him confront me!
It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
     Who will condemn me?

- Isaiah 50:7-9a
Flint is a hard, homogenous rock that can be shaped by striking it. Instead of shattering when struck, the stress of the impact dissipates through the rock and only rounded chips are broken off revealing sharp edges. The shaped rock remains intact and can be used as a tool.

Harsh words, false accusations, rejection, feelings of guilt and shame, and even persecution for our faith strike us at our core and can leave us crumbling into a sobbing pile of mush or send us into a less than godly reactive mode. Sometimes even our own choices result in shame or disgrace. We can try to defend and justify ourselves, save face, protect our wounded pride, and wounded heart. Yet, in our own strength, we are defenseless against the strikes from the enemy, the “accuser of the brethren.” Without help from God, we will “crack and shatter” under the impact of life’s pain, disappointments, temptations, and challenges.

Sooner or later we all face some sort of adversary, critic, or false accuser. Maybe the enemy is working through another person to discredit you or maybe it is the thoughts he puts in your head of guilt, shame, and disgrace to subtly derail your confidence in the saving grace of Christ. If we determine to allow God to shape us through strikes of adversity, we too will be able to set our face like flint. Because He is our dependable help, we can remain intact as we trust in Him to bring forth truth and justice and to vindicate us before our accusers.

Ponder the fact that you have a vindicator who is perfect, righteous, near, ready to defend you and even sent His Son to die for you so He could be your help!  Just think…you are a child of this Sovereign God! Who then is your accuser? Be confident in this truth. Because He is your help, you will not be put to shame!

- Jude White
Father, help me to set my face like flint so that adversity will not shatter me. Be my vindicator and my help.