A voice says, “Call out.”
Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”
…The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever
~Isaiah 40:5,8 (NASB)
The exchange given above is part of a passage in Isaiah that describes the Message of God. There is a command to call out, a request for what to call out, and the answer is to cry out that only the Word of God will endure forever. Everything else will decay and go away.
Christians today don’t understand the Word of God. As an example, the NASB, quoted above, consistently capitalizes all the he’s and him’s that refer to God, but it never capitalizes “word” in “the word of God.” Somehow, we’ve forgotten that Christ is the Word of God, or we’ve relegated that truth to some second place behind “The Scriptures are the word of God.” The fact that Christ is the Word is not second place to anything. It is the primary Message of the Scriptures.
Three times in the Acts the Word of God is said to multiply, increase, or grow (6:7; 12:24; 19:20). This doesn’t make any sense the way we currently understand the Word of God (as Scripture). It only makes sense when we understand that Christ is the Word and that he is Spirit. As the number of the disciples increased, then the Word increased, grew, and multiplied, because it was in more disciples, and it was growing in those disciples. James tells us that the Word is to be “implanted” in us if our souls are to be saved (1:21, NASB). It goes in us like a seed and grows in us.
It is this sort of understanding of the Word, as alive in us and powerful, that allows our passage from Isaiah 40 to make sense. The very heart of the Message of God, according to that chapter–that which is to be called out to the world–is “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands forever.”
Friends, this is the proclamation of eternal life. Only the Word of God will last forever. Get inside of it. Get it inside of you. Then you will possess eternal life, and you will never die. This is the only way. There is no other.
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him….The world is passing away, and also its lusts, but the one who does the will of God lives forever. (1 Jn. 2:15,17)
The one who does the will of God is the one who has the Word of God inside of him, because the will and the word of God are the same. Receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your soul. This is the command of Scripture.
How does this happen? Look at how it happened to Peter. In Luke chapter five Peter is told to throw his nets out for a catch. Peter is not happy about this because he has already been fishing all night. But Peter knows there is something special about the Man who is telling him to cast out his nets. So his response is, “Nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net” (Luke 5:5, KJV).
Nothing is ever the same for Peter again. After he hauled in the fish, Jesus did not need to preach a sermon to Peter about the sinfulness of man. The Word of God had gotten inside of Peter, and Peter already knew his own sinfulness. “Depart from me,” he cries out, “for I am a sinful man.” When the boats got to shore, Peter forsook his huge catch, his business, and his life and followed Christ.
Do you want to receive with meekness the implanted word? Obey the one who is the Word, and it will bury itself in your heart and begin its work of transforming your life. Hebrews tells us that Jesus has become the author of eternal salvation to everyone who obeys him (5:9). Do you hear his call? Then obey it. Repent, be baptized, and he will give you the Holy Spirit. Sell what you have, give alms to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, and follow him.
Isaiah 40 says there is one thing to cry out. “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands forever.” Nothing else will last, but if you will become a part of the Word of our God, you, too, can live forever. Only the Word endures. You must be in him, and he must be in you. Everything else is temporary.