The Lord’s Never Changing Word
What does the Lord’s word mean to you? God’s word is different from ours. This sermon takes a look at the difference between the Lord’s word and our word
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Text for today’s sermon: Isaiah 40:1-11
The key verse:
The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:8
“I give you my word,” what do you think about when you hear somebody say that? For whatever reason my mind goes to Keifer Sutherland’s great TV character, Jack Bauer, on 24. When Jack gave you his word it was very important to that character that he keep his word. I have come across other TV characters that will quickly change, alter, or break their word because their word didn’t really mean much to them. Have you ever encountered anybody whose word just doesn’t mean much to you because they’re always changing their word? It’s likely that we have all encountered those kind of people, where you just can’t trust one thing that comes out of their mouth – their word has no meaning because it is always changing. You can no longer trust anything that they’re saying.
God’s never changing word
Things change all the time, right? As you sit there, right now, things are changing all around you – they’re literally changing every millisecond. The earth has rotated just a bit more on its orbit. The clouds over your head have shifted a few feet. The sun has shifted in the sky a few feet. Your dog has batted it’s eye, and something new has caught it’s attention this very second. Your Facebook and Twitter timelines has just updated, this very second, because one somebody can’t stop posting updates to their timeline. Even within this very moment, you too have changed.
A lot of these things can’t help but to change because that’s the way that nature works. The one thing that we, believers, would never want to change as often as we may change clothes is the Lord’s word. The Lord, because He is God, should not act as the nature in which He created. If God was to change as often as thing’s in nature change, then what shape would we be in today? If God chose to change His “mind” as often as we do, what shape would we believers be in today?
In today’s text we see the word of God compared with the grass and flowers of a field. In the scripture you will see that the grass represents the flesh (people), and that the flowers represents the loveliness of the field. It is interesting that the word of God is being compared with the grass and flowers of a field. I’m a lawn person, like my dad, I do everything within my ability to have a nice looking yard throughout the summer. So, I happen to know a thing or two about grass and flowers.
There are different varieties of grasses and flowers. To me, I love grass with the thick blades of St. Augustine and Centipede, but you’ll find many yards in the south using Bermuda and Fescue. No matter what you choose to use as your choice of grass, you can either have a pristine yard worthy of pictures or a yard full of tall weeds. The same thing goes with flowers, depending on how you treat that flower, you’re going to end up with beautiful flowers or flowers that’s been munched on by beetles – not worthy of pictures. In other words, depending on the circumstances of the environment, temperature, and the nurturing, the grass and flowers will change for the good or bad.
The Lord’s word was being compared to something of nature, something that changes. People (flesh) was being compared to a grassy field which changes because of a nature. Does the Lord’s word or people’s word compare better to the grass? We’re told in the scripture that we, the flesh, we are the grass. Why? Because we are constantly changing from the time we develop in the womb until the time we leave this world.
When you think about this, we are literally changing, age wise, by the very second. We, like the grass, are shaped and molded by our environment and surrounding – always changing. We, like the grass, are shaped and molded by the temperature and atmosphere of our surroundings – which causes changes. We, like the grass, are shaped and molded by the way that we are nurtured, raised, which causes us to change. It is in our very nature to change and to adapt, for either the good or the bad.
My dad had a saying that he would say, “the Lord gave you a brain to think”, he would say that when it seemed like I wasn’t using my mind. With our mind, we have the ability to look around us and choose. Choice, free will, gives us that ability to change our mind and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that – I absolutely love that God made us that way. This is why we, the flesh, compare so well to the grass – we’re always changing.
Unfortunately, part of the nature of grass is for it to go dormant when the fall and winter comes rolling in. Even in the hot summer months, grass begins to wither up because it can’t take the heat. Even the loveliness of the field, the flowers, begin to lose their color and go dormant when the fall and winter comes. What does this means for our comparison? When we have days when we can’t take the heat or can’t take the cold, watch how quick we change. When those rough days come about, it is in our nature to change and it’s typically for the worse of who we are – we wither up.
You see, in all of this, this is why God can’t be like man. God, our Lord, can’t be like the grass or the flower of the field. Imagine for a moment that God was like the grass and the flower of the field. If God “woke up” on the wrong side of the bed one morning, I can’t imagine that any prayers would go answered that day. If God was “just not feeling it” one day, He may just answer your prayer and tell you that your prayer was dumb. If God was “in a bad mood” because you transgressed against Him, He may just choose to go back on whatever He may have promised you. Even worse, if God was like the grass or the flower of the field, He would wither up in the heat of the summer and go dormant in the cold of fall and winter. See, God cannot be the grass or flower of the field because He is the Lord and He is above all things! God cannot wither and shrink on us. God cannot go dormant on us. God, because He is God, must stand through all things!
God stands forever
As much as things change in our life, in all the things that we go through, the one thing that cannot change is God. When we need someone to call on, it is a good thing for us to know that God is going to be there. God cannot be like me and choose to reject the call when someone comes calling. I know for a fact that God is not like that because every time that I have called on God, He has answered and He has been there. I encourage you to comfort yourselves in God.
“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. – Isaiah 40:1 NKJV
The grass, it withers, the flower, it loses color but the word of God remains! This verse should bring about nothing but comfort to all believers. God is telling us, I am not like you, your family, or your friends, I don’t go away and will not go away when the going gets tough. God is telling us, I am not going to break my promises that I have made to you! Do you understand what that means?
God’s word was there in the beginning when man first failed Him – He was not going to allow man to be conquered by this world. God’s word was still there with Israel when they wondered through the wilderness for those 40 years. God’s word was still there with Mishael, Hananiah, and Azariah when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. God’s word was still there with Daniel when he was placed into the lion’s den.
God’s Word, which was there with Him in the beginning, was then made flesh and came into this world through the flesh. The Word of God became flesh and then began to teach and preach the word so that the world could know His word. To this day, God’s word, still stands with us – being taught, being preached, and still guiding us. The beauty of God and His word is that He nor His word changes, adapts, or conforms to the environment or atmosphere of the surroundings – it remains the same.
When God told you that you will be blessed because you have believed on Him, He’s not going to change His mind – it was not a lie, you can believe it! When God told you that He would be there in your times of need, He is not going to change His mind – it was not a lie, you can believe it! When God said He would wipe away all tears, He was not lying! When God promised you salvation and that you would one day join Him in eternal fellowship, He’s not going to change His mind – it was not a lie, you can believe Him!
We cut people out of our life because people change. You have probably dropped family and friends in your life because they changed or you changed – some folks we simply have to let go. You don’t have to worry about ever doing that to the Lord because He is not going to change up on you. How beautiful is it to know that God will not change on you? How beautiful is it to know that God will stand forever? How beautiful is it to know that God’s word, His promises, they never change. God is not going to change, He’s not going to morph into something you don’t recognize tomorrow – He’ll stay the same.
Jesus Christ (God) is the same yesterday, today, and forever. – Hebrews 13:8 NKJV
The Lord’s word of love, forgiveness, and of eternal fellowship with Him will never change – He’s not going to break that promise. As the world follows its nature in change, and as people change, the Lord will still remain. He and His word will remain until that one day He calls us, all of His children, to join Him in eternal fellowship with Him. Even in that day, when we’re singing, dancing, and shouting all over God’s heaven, He and His word will still remain.