The Brevity of Life
The Grass Withers, The Flower Fades (Isaiah 40:6-8)
Isaiah 40:8 - "The grass withers, the flower fades but the Word of our God shall stand forever."
This object lesson takes two weeks.
On the first week, I had picked a fresh wad of luscious green grass and wrapped it with a rubber band, showed it to the congregation and then put it into a container. I also had four girls volunteer and they each picked a beautiful flower out of the centerpiece and put it into the container. [Of course I first got permission from the lady who does the flower arrangements, and it was done in the evening service so that the flowers looked good in the morning.]
So, in the container I had the wad of grass and four beautiful flowers with their stems.
Then I simply said, "To be continued next week."
During the week I let the grass and flowers remain in the container for several days, but I also exposed them to the air and the sun for a couple of days.
On the following Sunday, I showed the congregation what had happened to the grass and the flowers. But first I played a trick on them. On the second Sunday I cut a fresh wad of luscious, green grass, and pulled it out of the container, to make them think this was the original wad of grass which I had put in a week earlier. They were amazed that the grass looked so good. But then I confessed that this was not the original wad but one freshly cut, and I then pulled out the withered wad of grass. Most of it had turned yellow and did not look very good at all.
I then pulled out the flowers. The carnation had shriveled up significantly and you would never want to wear it in that condition. Another orange flower had shriveled up ever worse. The other two flowers had basically disintegrated; there was nothing left but a stem. The pedals had all fallen off.
So it was a good illustration of Isaiah 40:8. God says that the grass and the flowers are a picture of our life. "All flesh is grass"–Isa. 40:7 (All people are like grass). We are here today and gone tomorrow. But the truth of God’s Word is eternal and will never fade away. And God has good news for those who trust in Him. Like it says on D. L. Moody’s gravestone in Northfield, MA–"He that doeth the will of God abideth forever." (1 John 2:17)
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