So, I’ve been going verse-by-verse through Isaiah 40 in my quiet time along with the L3 journal readings (currently in Romans). And it’s been really cool. My love is just breaking down verses and getting deeper meanings from verses we’ve read a bazillion times. So, a few days ago I was in verses 6-8.
“A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” [The reply] All flesh is grass, and all it 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 the LORD will stand forever.”
The voice that said “Cry!” was the voice of the LORD. Isaiah’s response is how we should also say, “What shall I cry?” …What do You, LORD have to say? What do you want to speak through me? I cannot speak on my own authority; I only want to speak what YOU have to say.
The reply is: man is mortal and his/her life will end; his beauty (all his wisdom and natural powers) will fade away. The LORD repeats this message 3 times in these verses, showing urgency and importance. But vs 8 shows that though men (including Isaiah) will pass away, but the “word of the LORD” (including what God is speaking to & through Isaiah) “will stand forever”!
So, I’m pretty sure this reply made Isaiah feel like the grass — in his humanity I’m sure this reply temporarily put a little damper on his attitude. So easy it is for us to focus on how our lives are meaningless–like grass, like the flower, which will both pass away. But then the negative feelings of Satan that had probably creeped up into Isaiah’s mind, quickly dissipated with the last phrase that vs 8 speaks –“The word of our LORD stands forever/” God is using Isaiah to proclaim His words to the people! Therefore, this puts eternal value into our lives: when we realize we are NOTHING without God, but with Him in us and His purpose and word being proclaimed our only aim–our lives will make an eternal impact on this world. Yeah, our name may not be remembered, but God’s name will! And if His fame is our aim, we will not care at all about our fame-instead we will care about sharing in His glory after our flesh passes away.