Isaiah 40

Isaiah-40-8-Nature-Scripture-HD-Wallpaper

Isaiah 40:8 has been my favorite verse for a while now.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”

I just love the promise of it. While everything else in this life will eventually fade away, the word of the Lord stands forever. It’s always relevant. It’s always relatable. It’s timeless. It’s forever. I love that.

But the entire time this verse has been my favorite, I have failed to read the context around it. This is until I read it a few days ago. I’ve been reading the book of Isaiah for a little while now, and I never really knew or understood what was happening in the book until recently. Isaiah is describing all of the sin and evil going on within the nations of that day. He explains the  judgement for sin and the punishment that’s going to happen to the nations because of their sin. But he also tells of the promises of God and he gives the people hope with the foretelling of Jesus and the salvation He will bring. Isaiah 40 is one of the chapters in the book that’s there to give comfort to the people. In fact, it’s the first chapter that gives comfort to the people. The entire book before that is focusing on all of the judgement and punishment, and then this chapter comes around just in time to give the people a sense of peace. The title given in my Bible for this chapter is Comfort for God’s People. What I love about that is that it’s not just comfort for the people of that day, it’s comfort for all Christians. Anyone who belongs to God. Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Just like my favorite verse says “the word of our God will stand forever.” Meaning that these words will always be relevant to anyone reading them. What I’ve seemed to have missed all this time of loving Isaiah 40:8 are the two verses before that.

A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. 

While you can take verse 8 by itself, you get so much more information when you take these three verses together. There’s a greater comparison going on than just grass and flowers to God’s word. The flesh is the grass and the beauty we see in the flesh is the flower. We are the grass. We are the flowers. We, even as Christians, find pleasure in things of the flesh daily. We find it beautiful even. Things of the world are intriguing. They pull us in just like Satan wants them to do. The sin you’re dealing with is beautiful to you or you wouldn’t be doing it. It’s attractive like a flower. The people of that day continued in their evil ways because they found it beautiful. What we need to remember, though, is that it fades. Money will fade. Possessions will fade. Greed, jealousy, worry aren’t worth it. Because the material items that cause those sins and most other sins are going to fade. Sin isn’t what is eternal. God is. His word is. Salvation is. These eternal things are what’s actually beautiful and attractive and wonderful. We just forget that sometimes. When you actually think about it, Heaven sounds so much more beautiful than anything here, but we forget just how beautiful Heaven will be in our moments of weakness. The flower looks beautiful on the outside, but deep within it’s still going to fade. It’s not going to look beautiful forever. It’s not even going to be here forever. We need to focus on what’s forever. We need to trust God’s word because it’s one of the only things that is guaranteed for forever. God’s word will never change or become irrelevant or fade away, but everything else will.

Elevation Worship puts it the best…

Oceans will rise,
Kingdoms will fall
But the word of the Lord stands forever
The sun will start to fade,
The world will pass away
But the word of the Lord stands forever
And the death will try to come
The perfect love is won
Cause the word of the Lord stands forever
The word of the Lord stands forever
Forever

Your promises remain
Forever and ever
You won’t fade away
You never, You never change
You’re unchanging God
You will never change
You’re unchanging God
You will never change
You’re unchanging God

Your kingdom is forever
Your love will last forever
All glory, all honor
Unto our God forever

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