Geoffrey Wilkinson, George Henderson and Mark Frankel. Do you know thesse names or what they have in common? Geoffrey was a world renowned chemist. George, a priest and politician. Mark was an actor who played “Leon the Pig Farmer.” They all died 20 years ago today, September 26, 1996. How did you do? Me neither. Twenty years after you die, maybe your family will remember who you were but the chances of much more of a lingering impact are slim.
6 A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass. (Isaiah 40:6-7)
But he wrote those words 2700 years ago in a country about the size of Rhode Island that was on the verge of being conquered and exiled! And you know his name and can almost certainly quote or paraphrase some of what he wrote. Try it; fill in the blank: “The people walking in darkness have _____________.” Or, “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given and the government will be on __________.” See what I mean? What are the odds?
Of course, the reason Isaiah’s work has been preserved and is widely known is because it is in the Bible. That’s because, over the centuries, it has stood the test. He accurately prophesied the rise and fall of kingdoms in the Middle East (try that today!) and the exile and eventual release of the Jewish people, well over 100 years before it happened. Most significantly, he foretold the coming of Jesus with amazing accuracy and clarity. The only explanation is that Isaiah was writing God’s words.
Including these next lines from the quote above:
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
Yes, it does.