Jump Start # 3465
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”
When I graduated from high school my parents gave me a gift. Some kids got cars. Some took exotic trips. Not me. My folks gave me a Bible. Inside the cover, my dad had written our verse today. I still have that Bible. It was one of the first Bibles I used to preach from.
The contrasts in our verse today identify that some things change and some things do not change. The grass changes. It withers. The flower changes. It fades. But God’s word does not change. It stands forever.
There are great lessons for us in understanding this:
First, it is great to know in a topsy-turvy world one constant remains. God’s word is the same. It was the same for the people in first century Jerusalem. It was the same for those disciples in Europe in the middle ages. It’s the same for the person living in busy New York City, as it is for a guy living in rural Texas. It is the same here as it is over there. It’s the same now as it was back then. It remains the same. Unlike your phones and computer software, God’s word does need updates. It remains the same. It worked well in the dark ages. It worked well in World War II. It worked for slaves. It worked for CEO’s. It worked for those struggling. It worked for those oppressed. It worked for those persecuted. Unlike some of those college classes that we took, we wondered if we would ever use that stuff ever again. God’s word has proven to be useful and helpful.
Our culture longs for a changing message. It is looking for God to approve of things He doesn’t approve of. Redefine the words. Change the application. Mix up the message. Make wrong right. But in the midst of this, we hear the prophet Jeremiah writing, “Thus says the Lord, ‘stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it. “
God’s promises remain the same. God’s expectations remain the same. God’s warnings remain the same. In a changing world, one thing has remained the same, God’s Word.
Second, it is comforting to know that we can learn from our forefathers because they had the same word that we have. That Word of God that brought hope to worried mothers whose sons were far away fighting in World War II. That Word of God brought peace when the monarchy of Europe changed. That Word of God helped when diseases ran through small villages.
It is this same Word of God that was read at weddings and funerals for generations. Today, we communicate faster, travel farther and have so many conveniences than our forefathers, yet it is that same Word of God that fills our hearts with hope and love for the Savior.
Third, since the Word of God does not change, and it has been around for so many generations, it is doubtful that you or I will find something that someone hasn’t seen or taught before. Our attention should not be in finding something new and different, but rather learning that old, old Gospel.
Each generation must learn God’s word. For them, their eyes are seeing truths that they have never known before, but the truths have been there. Like the pearl merchant in the Lord’s parable, they find something that is life changing. Truth is that way.
There is a comfort in knowing that you can know God’s word. New phones are out on the market. There will be a learning curve before people get used to them. New cars. New TVs. New appliances. There is always something different than what we were used to. But, not so with God’s word. The message is the same.
I’m glad that my parents gave me a Bible when I graduated. I was a new Christian. I was heading off to college. Preaching wasn’t the direction I was heading towards. Had I gotten a new car, it would be trashed by now. A trip would be a distant memory. But that Bible gave me a foundation upon which I now stand.
As we head to a season of giving, don’t think that giving a Bible isn’t much. The video games, toys, clothes will all be tossed aside someday. But that Bible you give, can change a life for eternity. It can be a gift that is held on to for decades.
The Word of our God stands forever.