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The Word of Our God Stands Forever

The NBA playoffs are in progress. Several teams have either exceeded expectations or have disappointed. The narratives given by the media are continually changing. After one game, Anthony Davis is considered a top 10 player. After the next, he is considered a disappointment. One game in and the Boston Celtics are considered title-favorites. Two days later, they look like a shell of themselves. The NBA media love these narrative changes because it boosts their ratings. In this realm, hardly anything is stable, and the “truth” is continually changing.

This state of flux and transition mirrors our world’s concept of truth. It appears “truth” is changing all the time. For example, nine out of ten doctors may recommend eating eggs daily. The next year, nine out of ten are saying to eat eggs weekly or really limit the intake. Others are redefining fundamentals such as marriage and what it means to be a man or woman. In short, we live in a world of new truths and redefined foundational items. Our world is in love with subjective truth. But there is one thing that never changes.

Many characteristics about God’s word are comforting and assuring. One is the unchanging, long-lasting nature of God’s word. We live in the midst of a fast paced, changing world; but God’s words are true and remain the same. That is comforting and is expressed several places in scripture. One such place is Isaiah 40.

Isaiah was a prophet “during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah” (Isaiah 1.1). Isaiah prophesied during the time Assyria took Israel into captivity and attempted to capture Judah (Isaiah 36-37). Following the times of all the warfare, affliction, and suffering, Isaiah had a message that would provide comfort and peace.

Isaiah 40 begins by saying “‘Comfort, O comfort My people,’ says your God. ‘Speak kindly to Jerusalem; and call out to her, that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed, that she has received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins’” (vs 1-2). The Assyrian conflict and siege had been completed. Comfort is being given to God’s people.

Isaiah continues by saying there is “a voice calling.” There is need to “clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness” and to “make smooth in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40.3). This verse is familiar to many as it is fulfilled by John the Baptist in the New Testament.

Isaiah continues to use language about clearing the way and making it smooth. He says the valleys are to be lifted up and the mountains to be made low. These actions would make one smooth continual path. After this biblical landscaping, “the glory of  the LORD will be revealed and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 40.4-5). What is the glory of the LORD? What is the message He has spoken? Isaiah answers these questions in the following verses.

A voice says, “call out.” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?” The way is being prepared and the messenger is being told the message. What is the great message to be revealed? Verses 6-7 answer by saying, “All flesh is like grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass.”

How is this a great message? It appears depressing. It is a reminder of the brevity of life and the temporary nature of this world. Is this really a message that needed a way cleared for? Did the path need to be smoothed over? Why this message? Verse 8 adds a contrast, “the grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” This is the comforting, assuring message. Yes, life is brief, and this world is temporary. But God’s word stands forever. It is true and does not change. This is in contrast to the “truths” of the world. God’s word is something we can cling to and trust. It leads to life.

The word of our God stands forever. We can have confidence in God and assurance of His prescription. The Bible describes how sinners are lost and in need of salvation. The Bible tells us about Jesus Christ and how He was crucified, buried, and yet rose from the grave, purchasing redemption for sinners. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14.6). This statement is true and does not change. We are in need of a Savior and that Savior is Jesus Christ.

The word of our God stands forever. We can be confident and assured in the promises of God. We have already mentioned our desperate need of salvation and how Jesus has provided that. The Bible describes how sinners come to Jesus. Faith is essential. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3.16). Jesus said repentance is essential. In Luke 13.3, Jesus stated, “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Confession is essential. Jesus said, “everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10.32-33). Jesus commanded baptism in Mark 16.16: “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” All these actions are a result of faith, that is, faith in God and faith in His promises, that they are true and that He will do as He has promised. Despite the world’s unstable, subjective truth, the word of our God stands forever. We can be confident in God’s plan. We have discussed the terrible state of sinners outside of Christ and the promises that God offers to sinners who are faithfully obedient in Christ. We can be assured in all of those things because God’s word is true and stands forever. But the salvation Christ offers is not just for me, for you, or for a few. For God does “not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3.9). He loved the world and gave His Son so that all could respond in faith and be cleansed of sin. Have confidence in God’s plan. Spread His gospel message. We can be confident because God’s word stands forever.