For all flesh is as grass - Earthly seeds, earthly productions, and earthly generations, shall fail and perish like as the grass and flowers of the field; for the grass withereth, and the flower falleth off, though, in the ensuing spring and summer, they may put forth new verdure and bloom.
For all flesh is as grass - That is, all human beings, all men. The connection here is this: The apostle, in the previous verse, had been contrasting that which is begotten by man with that which is begotten by God, in reference to its permanency. The forher was corruptible and decaying; the latter abiding. The latter was produced by God, who lives forever; the former by the agency of man, who is himself corruptible and dying. It was not unnatural, then, to dwell upon the feeble, frail, decaying nature of man, in contrast with God; and the apostle, therefore, says that “all flesh, every human being, is like grass. There is no stability in anything that man does or produces. He himself resembles grass that soon fades and withers; but God and his word endure forever the same.” The comparison of a human being with grass, or with flowers, is very beautiful, and is quite common in the Scriptures. The comparison turns on the fact, that the grass or the flower, however green or beautiful it may be, soon loses its freshness; is withered; is cut down, and dies. Thus, in Psalm 103:15-16;
“As for man, his days are as grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth;
For the wind passeth over it and it is gone,
And the place thereof shall know it no more.”
So in Isaiah 40:6-8; a passage which is evidently referred to by Peter in this place:
“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.
The grass withereth,
The flower fadeth,
When the wind of Jehovah bloweth upon it:
Surely the people is grass,
The grass withereth,
The flower fadeth,
But the word of our God shall stand forever.”
See also James 1:10-11. This sentiment is beautifully imitated by the great dramatist in the speech of Wolsey:
“This is the state of man; today he puts forth.
The tender leaves of hope, tomorrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honors thick upon him.
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And - when he thinks, good easy man, full surely.
His greatness is a ripening - nips his root,
And then he falls.”
Compare the notes at Isaiah 40:6-8.
And all the glory of man - All that man prides himself on - his wealth, rank, talents, beauty, learning, splendor of equipage or apparel.
As the flower of grass - The word rendered “grass,” ( χόρτος chortosproperly denotes herbage; that which furnishes food for animals - pasture, hay. Probably the prophet Isaiah, from whom this passage is taken, referred rather to the appearance of a meadow or a field, with mingled grass and flowers, constituting a beautiful landscape, than to mere grass. In such a field, the grass soon withers with heat, and with the approach of winter; and the flowers soon fade and fall.
The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away - This is repeated, as is common in the Hebrew writings, for the sake of emphasis, or strong confirmation.
God has proclaimed the principles on which alone this co-operation is possible. His glory must be the motive of all who are laborers together with Him. All our work is to be done from love to God and in accordance with His will. COL 350.1
It is just as essential to do the will of God when erecting a building as when taking part in a religious service. And if the workers have brought the right principles into their own character making, then in the erection of every building they will grow in grace and knowledge. COL 350.2
But God will not accept the greatest talents or the most splendid service unless self is laid upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice. The root must be holy, else there can be no fruit acceptable to God. COL 350.3
The Lord made Daniel and Joseph shrewd managers. He could work through them because they did not live to please their own inclination but to please God. COL 350.4
The case of Daniel has a lesson for us. It reveals the fact that a businessman is not necessarily a sharp, policy man. He can be instructed by God at every step. Daniel, while prime minister of the kingdom of Babylon, was a prophet of God, receiving the light of heavenly inspiration. Worldly, ambitious statesmen are represented in the word of God as the grass that groweth up and as the flower of the grass that fadeth. Yet the Lord desires to have in His service intelligent men, men qualified for various lines of work. There is need of businessmen who will weave the grand principles of truth into all their transactions. And their talents should be perfected by most thorough study and training. If men in any line of work need to improve their opportunities to become wise and efficient, it is those who are using their ability in building up the kingdom of God in our world. Of Daniel we learn that in all his business transactions, when subjected to the closest scrutiny, not one fault or error could be found. He was a sample of what every businessman may be. His history shows what may be accomplished by one who consecrates the strength of brain and bone and muscle, of heart and life, to the service of God. COL 350.5Read in context »
Truths, precious, vital truths, are bound up with man's eternal well-being both in this life and in the eternity that is opening before us. “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” John 17:17. The word of God is to be practiced. It will live and endure forever. While worldly ambitions, worldly projects, and the greatest plans and purposes of men will perish like the grass, “they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:3. 7T 249.1
At this time God's cause is in need of men and women who possess rare qualifications and good administrative powers; men and women who will make patient, thorough investigation of the needs of the work in various fields; those who have a large capacity for work; those who possess warm, kind hearts, cool heads, sound sense, and unbiased judgment; those who are sanctified by the Spirit of God and can fearlessly say, No, or Yea and Amen, to propositions; those who have strong convictions, clear understanding, and pure, sympathetic hearts; those who practice the words, “All ye are brethren;” those who strive to uplift and restore fallen humanity. 7T 249.2Read in context »
“Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all” (1 Timothy 4:15). “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever” (1 Peter 1:24, 25). HP 135.6Read in context »
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we make known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth forever.” FE 445.1
It is by the perusal of the Bible that the mind is strengthened, refined, and elevated. If there were not another book in the wide world, the word of God, lived out through the grace of Christ, would make man perfect in this world, with a character fitted for the future, immortal life. Those who study the word, taking it in faith as the truth, and receiving it into the character, will be complete in Him who is all and in all. Thank God for the possibilities set before humanity. But a study of the many different authors confuses and wearies the mind, and has a detrimental influence upon the religious life. In the Bible are specified distinctly man's duties to God and to his fellow men; but without a study of the word, how can these requirements be met? We must have a knowledge of God; for “this is life eternal,” said Christ, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” FE 445.2
Let not man's assertions be considered as truth when they are contrary to the word of God. The Lord God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the source of all wisdom, is second to none. But those supposed great authors, who give to our schools their textbooks for study, are received and glorified, even though they have no vital connection with God. By such study man has been led away from God into forbidden paths; minds have been wearied to death through unnecessary work in trying to obtain that which is to them as the knowledge which Adam and Eve disobeyed God in obtaining. If Adam and Eve had never touched the tree of knowledge, they would have been where the Lord could impart to them knowledge from His word, knowledge which would not have had to be left behind with the things of this world, but which they could carry with them to the paradise of God. But today young men and women spend years and years in acquiring an education which is but wood and stubble, to be consumed in the last great conflagration. Many spend years of their life in the study of books, obtaining an education that will die with them. Upon such an education God places no value. This supposed wisdom gained from the study of different authors, has excluded and lessened the brightness and value of the word of God. Many students have left school unable to receive the word of God with the reverence and respect that they gave it before they entered, their faith eclipsed in the effort to excel in the various studies. The Bible has not been made a standard matter in their education, but books mixed with infidelity and propagating unsound theories have been placed before them. FE 446.1Read in context »