The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
The context for today’s verse is the prophet Isaiah asking God what he is ‘cry out’ on behalf of the Lord.
None too encouragingly for us the Lord’s response is that the people are like the grass and their faithfulness is like the flowers.
I am sure we can all understand the metaphors here.
Grass looks neat and ordered when it is kept short and cared for, but it can easily grow and take its own route, differing in length and clumping together.
Flowers will look beautiful and exuberant in one season but ragged and dishevelled in the next.
As the grass and the flowers are so are we, left unfocused and unattended.
The word withers is – yabesh – to be ashamed, confused, do shamefully – to wither away.
The word fades is – nabel – lightly esteem, come to nothing, disgrace.
However, the ‘word of the Lord endures forever’.
The word – dabar – advice, answer, any act – of the Lord endures – qum – abides, makes surely, to be upheld – forever – olam – always, everlasting, in continuance.
We maybe grass and flowers, but kept with the word of the Lord – the creator of the garden – we will remain fresh, ordered, and cared for.