April 29, 2013
So many times verses are quoted to describe the reason we cannot understand what God is doing and to validate the saying that “God works in strange and mysterious ways.” While this may be entirely true, that when our educated minds are held up to the Infinite, Omnipotent, Sovereign Ruler of the Universe they do tend to seem rather puny (although the image of God is present and noticeable unlike any other of God’s creation); is this in fact the point of the passage?
Isaiah in this passage prophesies to the nation of Israel that there will be a literal millennial Kingdom where God will fulfill many of His covenantal promises to Israel that as yet are unfulfilled. He tells Israel to “seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6) This is because in every dispensation God has always called on people to respond in repentance and faith and experience the grace of God to pardon and forgive evil. Isaiah tells Israel that if anyone forsakes his evil and turns to the Lord, he will have mercy on him “for he will freely pardon.” This, unlike our best human (moral) efforts which defines justice as “getting what you deserve” or “what most agree is ‘fair.’” Isaiah points out that “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are your ways (of justice and dealing with evil) God’s way.”
Isaiah goes on to expound on this to state God’s ways are “higher”—so much higher! God thinks on a different plane than we do – He has absolutely no compulsion for ‘self-preservation’ or ‘self-aggrandizement’ as we do when we consider another’s situation or justice. For some reason whether we admit it or not, we always seem to (in selfish pride) desire to cover our backsides. My human nature is not fully redeemed and longs, as does all of fallen creation for that state of full redemption when all of nature will cry out in praise. The Millennial creation is described in jubilant terms, “the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)
The jubilation is because the Word of God has accomplished its purpose for which it was sent—redeeming God’s creation! (55:11) The creation is beautiful and bountiful, and no more thorn bushes and briers (55:13). His ways are higher; His thoughts are thankfully not my thoughts!
Praise and sing His praises – that is the purpose of God’s redemption. The mountains and the trees will cry out when redeemed to their original state and we will sing and praise for all eternity—so let’s get started by mimicking His ways and His thoughts.