For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:24-25 (NIV).
Peter is quoting Isaiah here when he mentions “grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” That’s a quote that was (in Peter’s time) already several hundred years old. It would be as if you or I quoted someone from the early 1600s today to make our point. It’s a quote that, most likely, Peter would have heard throughout his life.
It’s poetic imagery. The blades of grass growing in a field seem innumerable, so many that only God can know their true number. That’s sort of like the population of mankind. And grass grows but eventually is cut, or it browns and withers. Sort of like men and women, you see. Peter uses Isaiah’s poetic allegory to make the point that we are like blades of grass growing in a field, living our lives under the sun (or the Son) until the time when we wither and die.
And we’re like the wildflowers that grow there as well. The older I get, the more I enjoy driving down the road and looking at the beautiful wildflowers growing there; thank you Lady Bird Johnson for beautifying our highways. Here in Texas, springtime brings blankets of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, primroses, and brown eyed Susan’s. You can drive down almost any highway and see thousands of them. Set against our blue skies, they’re God’s artwork on a scale no human artist could match. That’s not just here in America, however. Drive anywhere in the spring and summer and you’ll see the same thing. They’re splashes of color and life in what could otherwise be vast fields of green.
They’re an allegory, too. Their beauty, like ours, doesn’t last long but it’s wonderful while it does, and it lives forever in our hearts. The flowers are a sight to behold, something to brighten our lives and give splendor to what could be average or dull. Bluebonnets are only in bloom for a few weeks, then the flowers fall and the plant goes to seed. We’re only here for a short time to give our beauty to God and to each other, yet we’re here to produce seeds of beauty so that our kind – followers of Christ – may live on beyond us. The body – the plant – may wither and die, but the beauty – His Word – lives forever.
I wonder if the fields in heaven are full of wildflowers. One day I’ll see. Perhaps you and I will stand there admiring them, right beside Peter and Isaiah.
For further reading: Isaiah 40:6-8, James 1:10-11, 1 Peter 2:1
Lord, thank You for the beauty You give us here in simple fields and flowers. Thank You for the images You inspire in us using them.