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Setting our Faces as Flint

October 2, 2011

Who is among you that fears the LORD,
That obeys the voice of His servant,
That walks in darkness and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. Is 50:10

I don’t often think of the born again Believer as walking in darkness. We are told we are children of light – and it is true. If I read all of Isaiah 50 I see this is a reference to the darkness that can surround us.

Isaiah’s day was dark. Idolatry had risen to the point where God declares he will no longer hear their prayers (chapter 1). The nation was under siege and the northern kingdom already carried off into captivity.

Do you feel the darkness around you? Do you despair of what you see and hear on the news, out in public, on book and magazine shelves, at your local high school?

Do you wonder if the light is fading in the American mainstream church?

Then trust in the Lord and rely on God.

We have no excuse. We must set our faces as flint, another reference from Isaiah 50. If we read the verse in context, these are the words of the Lord Jesus and the topic is the cross, or more broadly His mission here on earth.

It becomes obvious this is a reference to Jesus in verse 6:

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.

As with many Old Testament prophecies, there is a message within a message. I don’t encourage the idea of taking any verse from the Old Testament prophecies and applying them to ourselves, indeed this has led to many faulty beliefs, but in this case I believe the scriptures themselves imply that we should have this attitude of “setting our faces like flint” as we continue to trust in the Lord, as we continue to fear the Lord, in times of darkness.

The current events of Isaiah’s day were apostasy, rebellion, and defeat, and yet God asks;

“Why was there no man when I came?
When I called, why was there none to answer?
Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom?
Or have I no power to deliver?
Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke,
I make the rivers a wilderness;
Their fish stink for lack of water
And die of thirst.
 “I clothe the heavens with blackness
And make sackcloth their covering.”

In other words, why have you lost faith? Even in times when we see the American church running after every wind of doctrine, preachers more consumed with money than with truth, and  in many churches large chunks of the gospel are removed in order to make it more seeker friendly, we cannot fall to the temptation of thinking it’s a lost cause.

We cannot let our hearts turn cold, calloused, or critical. And we cannot let ourselves become pessimistic, apathetic, or timid.

We must set our faces as flint. But what does that mean?

It means to trust. We will not be ashamed.

It means to declare the truth, knowing our Father has the power to deliver.

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