Isaiah 40:8 – The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (KJV)
1 Peter 1:24-25 – 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. (KJV)
In 1991, I was privileged to go to Russia with a group of teachers and administrators to help the ex-Soviet teachers deal with the morality crisis, which was tearing apart their country. Miraculously, we were invited to share the gospel with thousands of public school teachers and give them materials to be used in their public schools, even containing the clear plan of salvation. More than one hundred weeklong events all over Russia, known as convocations, were held. Such events continue even to this day.
On one occasion, as we handed out Bibles written in the Russian language to a group of almost 100 school administrators, a most startling event occurred. Each Russian participant was directed to write his or her name inside the cover. The leader then suggested that the table of contents be divided into sections by writing headings in the left margin next to the title of each book, e.g. law, history, poetry, prophecy. As others eagerly followed the directions and wrote in their Bibles, a big burly junior high school principal in my group, named Sergio, appeared to be disturbed by the request. He clutched his Bible tenaciously to his chest, his body language rejecting the speaker. Through my interpreter I asked Sergio to do as the teacher instructed. He sat still for a moment and then slowly turned to me, eyes flushed with tears, and looking clear through me he exclaimed, "I waited forty years for this Bible, I will never write in it!"
Beginning in 1918, Stalin set out to systematically destroy the Word of God. He tortured and killed Christians and ridiculed religion, making believers the laughing-stock of the nation. He tore down churches and used the priceless materials in the construction of the Moscow subway. Bibles were burned in the streets in an open campaign to forever eradicate religion from the empire. Thereafter, followers of God found it almost impossible to obtain any but menial employment under communism. Triumphantly, God had watched over His word all this time, just increasing the hunger. Truly, Sergio's supernatural desire to own his own Bible is explained by God's promise to protect the word and to accomplish everything which He has set out to do.
Prayer: Eternal and ever-faithful God, we pray for the people in Russia and the other parts of the fallen USSR, and in other parts of Eastern Europe, that the window of opportunity which You have opened will lead to a great and sweeping revival. Help us, in our homes, to remember the price of the word of God, and to love, appreciate, read and defend it. We praise Your holy name. Amen.