6 A voice says, “Cry out!” And he responded, “What will I cry out?” All flesh is grass, and all his loyalty like the flowers in the field. 7 Grass withers; a flower withers when the breath of Yahveh blows on it. The people are just like that grass. 8 Yes, Grass withers; a flower withers, but the word of our God will stand forever. 9 Go for yourself up to a high mountain, Zion, bringer of good news! Lift up your voice strongly, Jerusalem, bringer of good news! Lift it up; you must not fear! Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” 10 Look! Yahveh, Yahveh comes strongly, and his arm rules for him. Watch! His reward accompanies him, and his recompense is before his face. 11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather lambs in his arm, and he will carry them at his chest; he will lead those who nurse.
reasons to cry out
Isaiah was having a bad day. Maybe he had just sat in a prophet team meeting all day and went over budgets and voted on projects and determined schedules and such. Maybe he had tried to get through to some important somebody only to be ignored or mocked. For whatever reason, Isaiah was not in a very encouraged state this day. And the LORD came to him and told him to prophesy. Isaiah did not feel like prophesying. We felt it was no use. You can’t get through to these people. They are like the grass in a field. It’s going to grow until it stops, then it’s going to wither and die, and crying out to it is going to make no difference.
The LORD reminded Isaiah that he had two very good reasons to keep crying out his prophesies, even to this rebellious grass-like people who would not listen:
1. First, the power of God’s word which Isaiah preaches. The power for change and accomplishment is not in the people. The power is in the word of God itself. All flesh is grass; it is temporary. When the hot air hits it, it dies and returns to dust. But God’s word stands. There is no greater investment that pouring yourself into God’s word, and spending your life preaching, teaching, praying, and blogging it!
2. Secondly, the purposes of God’s word. Yahweh told Isaiah that he had the wrong simile. The words he were saying were not to be like the strong wind that beats upon the grass and dries it out. The prophets words are the strong acts of conquering king, and the caring acts of a loving shepherd. God will give the people what they need. He purposely sent his word to do that.
LORD, we commit ourselves to crying out in every way possible to this needy generation. We also commit to learning your word so that our words are not useless and harmful hot air, but strengthening and nurturing words – from you.