Day 30: Isaiah 50:4-8

Welcome to a Lenten devotional guide! We are on day 30 with only 10 to go until the end of Lent.

Reading this portion of Isaiah 50 through the lens of Jesus’ betrayal, trial, conviction, torture and crucifixion gives it meaning that is moving, powerful and instructive.

I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard. I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. The Lord helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

May we all have the intestinal fortitude to not strike back, defend ourselves, or seek to fight fire with fire. The Lord’s vindication is enough says the prophet. The Lord knowing the truth is enough. Shame only comes when we give in to the narrative of the attackers instead of embracing the truth that comes through grace in Christ.

What a difference this would make in our political landscape if this was the prevailing attitude instead of trading insults and barbs. I dare say it would make a difference in our churches and the families we find ourselves as well. It is not easy. Short term it would not look “successful’ but long term it would be transformative.

If you find yourself in the midst of difficulty right now, let me encourage you, as I encourage myself, to refuse to fight back and be defensive. I can’t guarantee what the short term will look like but I do know the long term will be God’s outcome.