Read: Isaiah 50:4-9
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.
Set your face like flint
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Do you know what flint is?
Flint is a very hard type of rock that breaks and chips into sharp-edged pieces. Long ago, people would use pieces of flint for arrowheads and knives.
In today’s Bible reading, we read that the Servant of the Lord (which is Jesus), “set his face like flint.” Setting your face like flint means you expect that something you are going to do will be hard. But you are determined to be harder. Whatever those difficulties may be, you are going to work through them and accomplish what you set out to do.
What was the job Jesus was setting his face like flint to do? God asked him to be the Savior who would die to forgive all the sins in the world. That would be hard. It would mean Jesus would have to live a perfect life. The job would also hurt him. Jesus suffered so much before he was crucified and then died. Jesus knew this before it happened. So, he set his face like flint. Even though it was going to be hard, he was determined to complete the work God had given him to do.
Why could only Jesus do this important work? Because just like the Israelites (the people Isaiah was a prophet to), we haven’t done a good job of listening to God’s words, obeying his commands, or trusting his promises. When we know what God has told us to do is going to be hard, instead of setting our face like flint and doing the hard work of obeying God, we complain how hard it’s going to be. Or we take the easy but sinful way out. You likely know the results, don’t you? We didn’t do what our parents said, we treated siblings or friends with anger instead of love, or we let the frustrations of life get the best of us as we interacted with our family. Like the Israelites, we need someone to rescue us.
So, Jesus set his face like flint in order to save us from our sins. He rolled up his sleeves and worked hard to do what was impossible for us—perfectly obeying our God. Jesus trusted that God would help him. Jesus set his face like flint, and because he did, you are forgiven! Your sins are paid for!
Dear Jesus, you set your face like flint to do the hard work of saving me from my sin. Help me to set my face like flint when you ask me to do things that are hard in my life. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Can you “set your face like flint”? (Make a face like you have a hard chore to do, but you’re going to do it!)
- What really hard thing did Jesus do for you?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Think of a time when you had to set your face like flint and do the hard work of obeying God.
- We often feel bad or guilty about our sins. Why is it important in those moments to remember Jesus as our substitute?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Why is it important that Jesus faced the same temptations that we do?
- Recount the last time you took the easy way out of difficult situation. What happened? Now, set your face like flint. Plan out a difficult but right way to handle it.