‘All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away’”
Peter argues the eternality of God’s Word (v.23) with a quote from Isaiah 40:6-8. Isaiah 40 deals with Israel under apostasy. The nation was spiritually dead, the temple ravaged, and the people had adulterated their commitment to God. In the face of all this, the Bible remained true.
All flesh is as grass
“All flesh” is everyone in their natural state. Man is finite and temporal and transient – he is “as grass.” “Grass” is temporal and fragile. There is nothing permanent in the grass. Man is not like the Word of God that never perishes.
Israel did not love God with all of her heart. She lurched after idols and perpetrated apostasy. Man is a fickle being without stability.
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass
“The glory of man” is man’s accomplishments. All the achievements of man, his records, writings are as fragile as grass. Man’s great structures, his developments in science all will wane like the fragile flower. Man’s toys are temporal. A man from a global picture withers and fades. Job 14:1-2 compares man to a delicate flower,
“Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of trouble.
He comes forth like a flower and fades away;
He flees like a shadow and does not continue.”
The grass withers
The word “withers” means to dry up as in a drought. The person without God is in a drought. His life is corruptible and subject to eternal death.
Even man in all his glory withers and fades away. A pro football player eventually loses his strength and is cut from the team. He was outstanding for a while, but after a short period, he becomes a “has been.” A celebrity dies like everyone else.
And its flower falls away
Man’s fame fades away, 1 John. 2:17 says, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” We soon forget man’s achievements. Our generation has forgotten the achievements of our parent’s generation. The glories of the past fade away. Man’s beauty, strength, wealth, honor, art, education, learning, virtue, achievement, and greatness blow away like so much withered grass.
All earthly things perish in time. Things of life can be beautiful in their time. Grass is beautiful while it is here, but the winter comes and turns ugly and eventually disappears.
The glory of man shines for a while, then like grass, it disappears.
The greatness of a man is transitory.
Human life is temporary. Man struts around planet earth like a peacock. He puts a satellite into orbit and thinks that the world revolves around him. He swaggers as if he were God. Pompous little man thinks he can solve the mysteries of the universe.
We occupy ourselves with our accomplishments and have no time for God. We try to eliminate God from our thinking. All of this is like grass that grows for a time and then quickly turns brown and disappears. We will eventually die. Our face first shows signs of wear, then all of our pride in face, place, and grace disappear.
We buy a new car. Someone parks next to us and bangs their car door against our pride and joy. The glory of the new car fades. We need to keep eternal values in view, for the glories of this life will fade.