"All men are like grass"

The apostle Peter reminds us of our utter smallness in the context of He Who Is. In Peter’s first letter, he (partially) quotes the prophet Isaiah, Chapter 40:6-8, although he (or later editors) left out a very important verse. From Isaiah 40:

6 All men are like grass,and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.

7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass.

8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

Given who Peter was, I am confident he knew the scroll from Isaiah in its entirety. A theme of his first letter shows, too, that he knows precisely Who is in charge. It is God, not Peter; not Paul; certainly not me or thee.

Peter, would surely have agreed that because of our fallen nature, “the breath of the Lord” numbers our days, just as surely as it dooms all lesser things that live.

This dose of humility is useful, any time we mortal men think we’ve got all of the answers. The breath of the Lord, so recently exercised (allegorically at least) in the tsunami, has been with us since the Fall of Man. Since that time, in the dark pre-history of our species, we have been like unto grass, a small thing to be dried up and blown away.

The tsunami is just one manifestation of how tenuous our hold on mortal life is. Peter also well understood this, as he reminds us (1 Peter 1:25) that it is only “the word of the Lord [that] stands forever.”


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