Isaiah Day 199 - He Doesn't Think Like We Do
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares 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.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
“For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
“Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,
And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,
And it will be a memorial to the Lord,
For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”
If you are familiar with the Scriptures, Isaiah 55:8,9 are at least vaguely familiar to you. The verses are well known and often quoted. I must confess that before this morning they were roses plucked from a garden for me. I knew them and could repeat them from memory but I could not have told you the context from which they came. As is always the case, placing the roses back in the garden makes them even more beautiful, in fact they lead us straight to Jesus. Without context the verses simply say God thinks differently than we do but that could be good, bad, or just different.
Now look at the context. The context is forgiveness and renewal. When it comes to forgiveness we think in terms of exchange. I will forgive when they ask me, or when they demonstrate they or sorry, or when... Always an exchange. To get, we must give, to give we must get.
"But" you say, "verse 7 is all about an exchange. We forsake our ways and our thoughts and we get forgiveness in return."
We read verse 7 that way because we think in terms of exchange all the time. Remember the prodigal son? What did he have to do to get forgiveness? He had to stop running from his father, turn around, and run toward Him. Do you remember his thoughts when he decided to forsake his way and return home? He had a speech all prepared about how he was no longer worthy to be a son and instead he would be a hired servant. He felt he had nothing significant to exchange or buy his way back in. His father cut him off mid speech. He immediately reinstated him as His son without payment or price. All he had to give in exchange for forgiveness was to return.
The only way he would fully benefit from the extravagant (scandalous) forgiveness of his father was to forsake his own thoughts of forgiveness having to be paid for.
Can you see it? Our ways and our thoughts all run in the vein of buying, of giving to get. We must forsake these thoughts if we are ever to rest in the grace of God. He doesn't think like we think.
We'll continue tomorrow and discover Jesus in a whole new way... :)