Wow, I haven't done a Verse of the Week post in quite a long time. But now seems like a great time to get back into it!
This week's spotlighted Bible verse (or verses, as it turns out) comes from Isaiah 40:6b-8:
"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." (ESV)
At first glance those verses sure seem rather depressing. Normally I'm sure most of us would be fine with being compared to flowers (which are quite beautiful) or even grass (which comes in a very fine shade of vibrant green), but in this passage we are being compared to how these plants fade, wither, and die.
We are made of flesh, as verse 6b states, and for a while we all are beautiful like "the flower of the field" (v. 6b). But that beauty doesn't last long, just like how plants don't last very long without care. We begin to wither and then fade, just like dying plants.
Have you seen grass during a dry spell? It manages to hold on for a little while, but if the rain doesn't come then it starts turning a gross shade of brown and becomes sharp, hard, and crunchy when you step on it. And if a flower doesn't get a consistent dosage of water it will turn gray, shrivel up, and lie on the ground in a pitiable sprawl.
But if a kind, caring person set out a sprinkler system and made it his duty to water his poor grass during the drought, the grass would slowly regain its green color. It would straighten up, become soft and pliable again, and would even start to grow. The same thing would happen to the withering flower if it recieved a regular water supply.
That's like us.
Without God we are spiritually dead. We walk around doing our own thing, often not even noticing that our spirit is withered up inside of us with no hope for any kind of salvation or for a life beyond this one.
One of the many things I love about God is that He could just leave it at that - giving us a sharp slap of reality and leaving us in despair - but He doesn't.
Even though we are mortals, God and His word "will stand forever" (v. 8). And if we realize our sinful, withered state spiritually and turn to Him for salvation, He will water us with His word and (if we continually accept it) we will slowly grow stronger in our faith, soft and pliable so He can mold us into a vessel for Him, and our spiritual life will flourish.
Sure, there will be tough times when it seems like we're going through that drought again, and maybe even sometimes when you wonder if you were ever saved in the first place. But God will always be with you and will continue to pour out the revitalizing water of His word on you when you continue to seek Him and His will for you.
And, sure, we are mortals on this earth. Our bodies will wither like the grass and fade like the flower. That's just part of how it works right now. But even as our bodies wither away, if we are Christians we can find comfort in our eternal God and His eternal word that continues to bring us closer to Him, who continues to water our spirits, and who will one day give us eternal bodies and allow us to live with Him forever in heaven.
And that is so amazing!
- Edessa, signing off