“For, ‘All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ And this is the word that was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:24-25).
It sometimes seems as if the world is filled with those who live as if they never expect to die. Then when a friend, family member, or celebrity passes away (sometimes unexpectedly), we are suddenly reminded that our physical lives are far from permanent. While the closing verses of 1 Peter chapter one offer an island of hope in the midst of that unfortunate truth, we must first wade through several grim realities before we reach it.
For instance, the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes tells us, “No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them” (Ecclesiastes 1:11). To illustrate the truth of that passage, let’s take a moment to consider the generations who have preceded us. While some may know little or nothing of their family history, others can often provide many details concerning parents, grandparents, or other family members.
For those who know of their family’s history, let’s consider our great-grandparents, the parents of our grandparents. How many of us are familiar with their generation? Now let’s step back one generation further to the parents of our great-grandparents. How many of us even know their names? Unless we’ve done some genealogical research, there’s a good chance that many of us know very little about these family members who preceded us just decades ago.
Unfortunately, the sights, sounds, and experiences of their daily lives are now lost to us. They live on today only in our scattered memories or perhaps a few old documents, photographs, or recordings. From our perspective, it is almost as though they never existed. But that sad reality applies not only to those who preceded us, for what is true of their generation now will likely be true of us as well.
While today’s age of social media may allow us to document our lives at great length, eventually there will be no one left to speak of our lives from their own personal experience. 1 Peter 1:24 expresses that unfortunate reality with a quotation from Isaiah 40:6-8: “all people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall…”
However, these depressing realities need not be true of us, as we’ll see in the final installment of our look at 1 Peter chapter one.