Ashamed: “Feeling shame” (Funk + Wagnalls). Shame: “A painful sense of guilt or degradation” (Funk + Wagnalls); “A painful sensation excited by a consciousness of guilt, or having done something which injures reputation; or by the exposure of that which nature or modesty prompts one to conceal” (Webster). We’re talking about embarrassment, something that makes one blush, and even wish to hide his face.
We’ve all experienced it. (1) Sometimes it is due to non-sinful matters—a forgotten appointment, static cling, zipper down, dress tucked into pantyhose, etc. (2) Sometimes it is due to sin—being caught in a lie, being caught in the act or exposed for committing some sin. Shame can be a good thing. There are things which should cause us to blush (Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12; Ezra 9:6). Shame can prompt one to confess and repent of sin. David once prayed, “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions, Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me” (Psalm 51:1-3). David was haunted by his quilt. His sin was always before him. That is, he was ashamed. Paul wrote much about shame (1 Corinthians 6:5; 11:6; 14:35; 15:39; Ephesians 5:11-12). It is spiritually healthy to be able to feel shame over sin.
[NOTE: There are four states concerning shame and sin. (1) A person may have shame for sin. David had shame over his personal sins (Psalm 51:1-3). Ezra felt shame over the sins of his people, his nation (Ezra 9:6). (2) A person may have no shame for sin (Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12). When one has no shame for sin, it could be: (a) because of Biblical ignorance; (b) due to being past feeling, having the conscience seared (Ephesians 4:19; 1 Timothy 4:2). (3) A person may be forgiven for sin, yet feel shame. This one needs to learn to forgive self. Perhaps, this is part of “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Philippians 3:13). Perhaps, some of us are like David, who prayed, “remember not the sins of my youth” (Psalm 25:7). (4) A person may be forgiven, and thus have a clear conscience (Hebrew 10:22; cf. 10:1-2; 1 Peter 3:21 ESV). This is the ideal.]
Back to the main point of this article—there are things which make us feel ashamed in this life; however, there is something that will never bring shame in the end: Trusting in Him.
“Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily” (Isaiah 28:16).
Judah was facing a serious threat to her national security. A flood of Assyrians were coming (Isaiah 8:7; 28:2). Judah’s rulers ridiculed the words of the prophet (Isaiah 28:14-15; cf. 28:2; 8:7). They trusted in their alliance with Egypt (Isaiah 30:1-7; 36:6-9).
It is in this context that God tells them of a sure foundation. The immediate reference may be that the sure foundation was to be found in trusting in Him and His word (Isaiah 28:16; cf. 8:11-15. Also see, Deuteronomy 32:1-4; Genesis 49:22-26, esp. v. 24b). The words “act hastily” (NKJV) or “make haste” (KJV) seems to mean that if they would trust in Him they would not be put to flight. Hezekiah prayed to God trusting in Him (2 Kings 19:15-35). The result? God spared the city (2 Kings 19:32-37; 2 Chronicles 32:20-26; Isaiah 37:33-38).
“They shall not be ashamed who wait for Me” (Isaiah 49:23).
The background is this—Hezekiah was told of a captivity in Babylon that would come upon Judah following his death (Isaiah 39:5-8; 2 Kings 20:16-19). This captivity was to last seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-13; 29:10; Daniel 9:2; 2 Chronicles 36:21-22). The book of Isaiah tells of a return (Isaiah 44:24-ff). Some while in captivity would think that the Lord had forgotten them (Isaiah 49:14). He had not. He keeps His word.
The teaching is that one will not be ashamed if they trust in God’s words and in His promises. God does not lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). “He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).
“Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame” (Romans 9:33).
The thoughts go back to the book of Isaiah. Paul seems to tie three passages together: Isaiah 8:13-14; Isaiah 28:16; and Isaiah 49:23 (though, the wording “put to shame” may be from the LXX rendering of Isaiah 28:16).
The words “on Him” refer to Jesus. He is the “chief cornerstone” (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:4, 6-8; cf. Psalm 118:22). We can be built on Him (1 Peter 2:7; cf. Ephesians 2:20) or trip over Him (1 Peter 2:8).
The context is this: many Israelites had sought for righteousness apart from Jesus (Romans 9:31-10:4). They had stumbled over the idea of Jesus as their savior (Romans 9:32). Elsewhere, Paul wrote, “we preach Christ crucified to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:23). However, those who believe on Him will not be ashamed in the end that they did so.
“Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame” (Romans 10:11).
The context is very similar to that of the previous passage. However, the emphasis is on the wording “whoever”. Paul moves beyond the Israelites to all of humanity. He expounds on the “whoever” by saying “for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him for ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’” (Romans 10:12-13). This returns to the thesis of the book “the gospel of Christ … is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
1 Peter 2
“‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame’
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense’” (1 Peter 2:6-8).
This passage references three passages. Verse six is from Isaiah 28:16. Verse seven is from Psalm 118:22. Verse eight is from Isaiah 8:14.
The context concerns the point that the church is precious to God. The church is His temple (1 Peter 2:5; cf. 1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Corinthians 3:16). The church is His priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). The church is offering up to Him spiritual sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 13:15).
The reason we can have this relationship with Him is because of Jesus. We “offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). It is “by Him” that we “offer the sacrifice of praise to God” (Hebrews 13:15). We certainly will not be ashamed for believing in Him in the end!