The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever (Isaiah 40:8).
A New Testament equivalent of our text reads, Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away (Mark 13:31). The concept expressed within is found in many Scriptural passages. This oft-repeated theme bears our attention. In our text and the two prior verses, Isaiah sets up a stark contrast between the temporal nature of all of creation, including mankind, and the unfailing, incorruptible word of God. All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the Spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass (Isaiah 40:6,7).
Just before quoting Isaiah 40:68, Peter writes: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever (I Peter 1:23). This incorruptible seed produces an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you (I Peter 1:4).
Men and women today tend to have a high view of themselves, their worth, and their accomplishments. And in some respects, just as the beautiful flower is the crowning glory of the plant kingdom, human achievements are not necessarily insignificant. But no matter what their human quality, all are transitory. Any brief expression of goodness will quickly fade and be forgotten, especially on the scale of eternity.
How much more important to concern ourselves with that which is eternal, not subject to decay or defilement the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. As Paul, may we be Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain (Philippians 2:16). JDM