What Does Isaiah 40:8 Mean?

The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.

Isaiah 40:8(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Comparisons and contrasts are used by the Lord to get His point across but when He reiterates a truth it is because He want to emphasise the importance of a matter and we would do well to listen to the word of the Lord and to read, mark, learn, inwardly digest and note all He has to say.

It was the Spirit of God that moved over the face of the earth in the beginning to bring light and life to a darkened world.  He also breathed life into the empty shell of Adam, and man became a living soul, made in the image and likeness of God. But just as God is the breath of life that triggered the creation into being, He also is the one Who causes flowers to fade and the grass to wither with a single blast of His nostrils.

For 39 chapters Isaiah had been warning the people of Israel of forthcoming judgement and the need to repent of their sins, to turn back to God and to hearken to His Word of truth. Judah would soon have to face years of captivity in Babylon as well as a long-term global dispersion because of their disobedience. But Israel would not harken to the Word of the Lord, and Isaiah used withering grasses and the fading flowers to illustrate the transient nature of mans’ life – and drew a comparison with the permanence and stability of God’s eternal Word, for the grass withers and the flowers fades; but the word of our God stands forever

The stark comparison of the fleeting life of a frail little flower with the transient passage of human existence is intensified by the striking contrast of the permanently established and eternally enduring Word of God. How feeble and frail is the transitory, impermanence of all humanity and yet how steadfast and secure of the Word of the Lord – for God has even placed His Word above His holy Name

All human life is like grass, which appears as a vapour for a little while and then vanishes away.  Man’s glory is likened to both the grass of the field, which dries up in the noon-day sun and the short lived flowers, which droop and drop and withers away when the breath of the Lord blows over them. The transitory nature of fallen man whose days are but as grass is starkly contrasted with the permanence of the everlasting Word of our God, which stands forever and ever.

The Word of the Lord not only refers to the God-breathed scriptures but also to the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ – the incarnate Word of the Father – the eternal Son of God, for He is the only eternally abiding reality in this world and in the world to come. Let us read, mark, learn and inwardly digest all that His is and all that He has to say.

My Prayer

Loving Father thank You for Your Living Word and Your Written Word and thank You for the truth that it contains. Thank You for Your everlasting grace and mercy towards foolish, frail humanity. Help me to understand Your Word more and more and thank You that You have reserved a place for me with You in heaven, by faith in Jesus Christ, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.

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