“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Many Christians use this passage of scripture to say that God causes or allows tragedy to teach you something. If a tragedy occurred in your life, some people (trying to comfort you, or explain tragedy) might say something like: ‘God works in mysterious ways’, or ‘His ways are higher than our ways’. I’m here to tell you that is not true. Yes, you can learn from tragedy, but God does not cause or allow bad things to happen to you.
My goal in this post is not to explain or prove the above statement, but to counter the common misconceptions that some Christians have in regard to this scripture. I plan to do that using one simple factor that many don’t see: context. I recently read Isaiah 53, 54 and 55. Isaiah 53 is a well-known chapter that prophesies about Jesus coming and becoming sin for us. Chapter 54 is describing how we will be reconciled with God and He will never be angry with us again, then Chapter 55 continues to describe Jesus becoming flesh, dwelling among us, and bringing us into right standing with God.
Right in the middle of that is Isaiah 55:8-9. Commonly used by itself with no context at all.
While I was reading I came across these verses and knew that some misinterpreted them, but I’d never actually tried to figure out what they really meant. Then God pointed out to me that the context of this passage does not have anything to do with judging you for your sin or causing you pain at all. Verse 7 of Isaiah Chapter 55 says: ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’
Then it goes on to say that God’s thoughts are higher than ours. That leads me to think that the thoughts the Lord is talking about are not thoughts of judgment or instruction, but thoughts of pardon and mercy.
No fleshly human being, without God’s help, would have ever imagined God’s Son coming and dying for us. It was entirely supernatural and God orchestrated. We deserve death, but thank God His ways are not ours!
In verse 7, I want to point out that God said He would abundantly pardon our wickedness and unrighteousness. I’m pretty sure that when God says abundantly it doesn’t mean: “I will pardon you, but if you sin again look out!”
I think some may struggle with verse 10, because it says things about rain and snow, and people say that sometimes God sends you rain instead of sunshine. But don’t worry, verse 11 explains everything. Verse 11 says: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
I believe that God is saying that just like water brings forth wonderful things out of the earth, so, His Word will not return to Him void, It will accomplish the wonderful things that He sent It to do. Jesus is the Word made flesh, so God is saying that Jesus will accomplish what God sent Him to do: offer us salvation and a relationship with God.
I hope this revelation helped you, comment to tell me what you think.