Commentary on Isaiah 55:8-13
I was supposed to do verses eight through eleven on Thursday, but I let the day get away from me. I apologize for that. That just means I am doubling up here, which after Lent and the commentary on Job we did each day, is a short list.
"People of Advent - Isaiah the Prophet" by Lawrence OP is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8 (KJV)
Anyone who thinks God's thoughts are the same as Man's thoughts or that Man's thoughts are the same as God's thoughts is delusional. We are created in His image, yes. But we are temporal creatures embedded in time capable only of moving into the future. God is outside time capable of seeing the beginning of everything and its end because He made it all.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Genesis 1:26-28 (KJV)
8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Revelation 1:8 (KJV)
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9 (KJV)
The point about God's ways being vastly different from ours is that they are better than ours. God knows how everything was made, how it was designed to interact with everything else, and all the rules that govern the functioning of everything. He simply knows better how things should be done. To think otherwise is the height of pride and hubris.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Isaiah 55:10 (KJV)
God made all of this. He made the rain. He set the laws of physics in motion that governs the evaporation of moisture. He created the earth upon which that moisture falls, and He created the seeds that spring forth from out of that earth when they germinate from the moisture. All this He set into motion, knowing how it all fits together. Human beings simply do not have the capacity to know all that He knows. We can move forward once we realize this fact, accept it, and internalize it. Only after we acknowledge God knows more than we do can we accept the idea that He knows how to live life on this mortal coil best as well. We simply trust Him that His ways are better than our ways and try to make more decisions that align with what He says are good decisions.
12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12 (KJV)
If we accept God knows more than we do, He knows the best way to live that produces good outcomes, and then we can choose those ways to get those outcomes. Our trust and love for God allow us to "go out with Joy" and find those good outcomes.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Isaiah 55:13 (KJV)
The last verse from Isaiah 55 implies this promise of goodness. The implication is the "Instead" line to open the scripture. If we decide we are not going to follow God's ways, we get the thorn. That doesn't mean God shoves them into us or actively puts them there. What it means is God created the system, rules, and laws that govern everything. He already knows how decisions that avoid what He says are good decisions turn out. Bad decisions end up badly; they get the thorn. God isn't doing that. The laws God created are, which means there are always consequences for our decisions. The more we study His ways, word, and laws, the more good decisions we can make. The more good decisions we make, the more the hills sing and the trees clap.