“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither 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.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV)
Whenever someone is going through any of the inexplicable tragedies of life (you can fill in the blank ____________ with your tragedy de jour) sooner or later somebody will attempt to comfort the confused soul with the above words from Isaiah 55:8-9.
The idea of invoking this passage is to say that God must have a glorious plan in allowing the tragic event(s) to occur. Granted, we cannot wrap our feeble minds around those plans but they must be wonderful and glorious because God knows what He’s doing. (On a side note, I think many unwittingly use this passage as a thought-terminating cliché.)
However, upon closer examination of the immediate context, we learn these words speak to nothing of the sort. The prophet is not addressing the bewildering heartaches of life, but rather, he is expressing something joyful and uplifting. This is plainly seen when vv. 6-7 are considered,
“Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)
What our feeble minds cannot comprehend is how freely and graciously God pardons the sins of the penitent! Taken together, Isaiah 55:6-9 is one of the clearest, most uplifting invitations to salvation in all the scriptures. The chapter opens with the fervent cry, “Come, everyone who thirst come to the waters” and enjoy the grace of God (55:1). Forgiveness is liberally offered to anyone who would seek the Lord God; call upon Him and depart from evil.
If any would doubt God’s willingness to freely forgive them (especially when they can’t forgive themselves) the prophet reminds us, God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, nor His ways our way. He forgives when others will not, and His love knows no limits going far beyond our comprehension (cf. Psalm 103:11).
So friend, turn to Father, forsake evil calling upon His name and accept His limitless love for you! If I can help you with any spiritual need drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless.