The Passing and the Abiding
Isaiah 40:6-8
The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:…

We are so little affected by that with which we are most familiar, that we need to hear a voice crying in our ear and reminding us of what we well know to be true. To nothing is this more applicable than the transitory nature of our human life and our earthly interests. We want to be told -

I. THAT HUMAN LIFE IS CONTINUALLY PASSING. We do well to walk in the city of the dead, and let the gravestones, with their names and dates, speak to us with simple eloquence of the passage of human life. We are wise when we take some measures to recall to our thought and write on the tablet of our souls the fact which care and pleasure are so industriously trying to conceal, that, when a few more years have come and gone, we shall be numbered with the dead, and that the objects and the incidents which are everything to us now will be nothing to us soon. It is a real gain to us, in wisdom, to be reminded that we are but passengers to the unseen world, and that every step we take leaves us less of the journey to be pursued. Human life is like a flower of the field, a little while ascending to its perfection, and then a little while descending to its doom.

II. THAT ITS EXCELLENCY RAPIDLY DISAPPEARS. "All the goodliness" of human life disappears still more quickly than life itself. The most exquisite things are the most evanescent; the fairest are the frailest. The beauty, the strength, the glory of human life, - these last but a very little while; they appear above the surface and put forth their blossom; then comes the killing frost, and they perish.


1. Enlightening truth. All that he has told us of himself and of ourselves, of our nature, character, destiny, way of return, etc.

2. Commanding and inviting truth. He still says imperatively, "Return unto me;" invitingly, "Come unto me."

3. Comforting truth. It will never cease to be a sustaining and mitigating fact that "God is our Refuge and Strength," that he chastens us; not for his pleasure, but for our profit, that we may be made "partakers of his holiness."

4. Warning truth. It is as certain now, as it was in the earliest era, that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die."

5. Hope-giving truth. From generation to generation it shall be, as it has been, declared that "whosoever believeth in him hath everlasting life. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

WEB: The voice of one saying, "Cry!" One said, "What shall I cry?" "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like the flower of the field.

The Fading and the Abiding
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