Isaiah 55:8, 9 - God's Thoughts And Ways Are Higher Than Ours.
Isaiah 55:8, 9 - God's Thoughts And Ways Are Higher Than Ours.
Isaiah 55:8, 9 (TNIV) "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are
higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my
thoughts than your thoughts.
Illustrations Of This Principle
Rarely does God do something exactly as we think He will. Our
problem is that we try to second guess God, saying, "Oh, now I know what
God is planning to do!" Moses experienced this as he learned how God
was going to deliver the Hebrews out of Egypt. God told him He would
harden Pharaoh's heart. Yet, the result was not what Moses anticipated.
Rather than allowing the Hebrews to leave, Pharaoh increased their
hardship. Rather than becoming a hero among the Hebrews, Moses was
despised by them for bringing greater suffering. Moses returned to the
Lord and asked, "Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people?
Why is it You have sent me?"(Ex 5:22). Much of the frustration we
experience as Christians has nothing to do with what God does or doesn't
do. It has everything to do, rather, with the false assumptions we
make about how we think God will and should act.
Have you ever done the will of God and then things seemed to
become worse? Moses completely misunderstood what the results of His
obedience to God would be. When things did not turn out as he anticipated,
Moses became discouraged. God had told Moses what to do, but He had
not told Moses what the consequences would be.
It is foolish to attempt to do God's work using your own
"common sense." God does not eliminate your common sense, He consecrates
it. He gives you His wisdom so you can understand His ways.
As you look back on God's activity in your life, you will
recognize the supreme wisdom in how He has led you. As you look forward to
what God may do, be careful you do not try to predict what He will do
next. You may find yourself completely off the mark. [Experiencing God
Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Isa. 55:8, 9]
Once upon a time a Man of God and a traveler took a journey
together. About sundown the first day the Man of God led the traveler to a
modest home and knocked on the door. A kind man invited them in and
treated them like royalty. After a very pleasant evening together the
host showed them a goblet made of pure gold. "This cup means very
much to me because my neighbor, who has been an enemy, gave it to me
as a token of friendship."
The next morning the Man of God and the traveler thanked their
host and started on their way. They had only walked a short distance
when the Man of God said, "Wait here. I forgot something." He went
back to the house and secretly entered the door. When he returned he
had the beautiful gold goblet.
The traveler was shocked. Why had the Man of God taken it?
That night the two stopped at a large landowner's mansion.
"Bam, Bam, Bam," went the large brass knocker. Finally, the door swung
open, and a tall inebriated man shouted, "Yeah, wadda you want?"
When the tyrannical landowner heard their request for lodging,
he grunted, "Wadda ya think I run here, a hotel?" As they turned to
leave, he yelled, "You can sleep in the barn if you want."
In the middle of the night the landowner crept to the pack
that belonged to the Man of God, searched it, and quietly removed the
goblet. The traveler wanted to stop the thief but the Man of God
whispered, "Wait. All will be well." Again the traveler was confused by the
strange behavior of the Man of God.
The next night they found themselves in a dense forest known
to be the home of a band of robbers. They knocked at the door of a
small cabin. The father hesitated when the men asked for lodging, but
his boy insisted they should stay.
After supper the boy settled himself at the foot of the Man of
God and listened attentively to the stories he told. He seemed drawn
to the Man of God and in the morning asked his father if he could
go with them to the fork in the road and show them the way. As they
crossed the narrow bridge the boy slipped and fell into the raging
river. The traveler plunged into the icy water to save the lad, but it
was too late. And all this time the Man of God did nothing.
This was too much for the traveler. In agony he shouted to the
Man of God, "What kind of a person are you anyway? You steal from
the kind man, allow a tyrant to steal from you, and then just stand
by while a boy drowns! Why? Tell me why!"
At last the Man of God said, "It is not for most travelers to
understand the ways of God, but for a moment I will open your eyes. The cup
the enemy had given to the kind man was poisoned, and I wanted no
harm to come to him. I allowed the landowner to steal the goblet
because he may choose to drink from it, and the peasants will be free
from his rule. And the boy," tears came to his eyes, "the boy loved
me. But his father was the head of a gang of robbers, and if the boy
had lived, he, because of his love for his father, would have
followed in his father's steps. I allowed him to die to save him for
The traveler at last nodded his head, "I understand," he said.
[Creating Love by Kay Kuzma. p.163]
Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village.
Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white
horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had
never been seen before - such was its splendor, its majesty, its
People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man
always refused. "This horse is not a horse to me," he would tell them.
"It is a person. How could you sell a person? He is a friend,
not a possession. How could you sell a friend?" The man was poor
and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.
One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable.
All the village came to see him. "You old fool," they scoffed, "we
told you that someone would steal your horse. We warned you that you
would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect
such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him.
You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would
have been to high. Now the horse is gone, and you've been cursed
The old man responded, "Don't speak too quickly. Say only
that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest
in judgment. If I've been cursed or not, how can you know? How
can you judge?"
The people contested, "Don't make us out to be fools! We may
not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple
fact that your horse is gone is a curse."
The old man spoke again. "All I know is that the stable is
empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don't know. Whether it be a
curse or a blessing, I can't say. All we can see is a fragment. Who
can say what will come next?"
The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man
was crazy. They had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn't, he
would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he
was a poor woodcutter, an old man still cutting firewood and
dragging it out of the forest and selling it. He lived hand to mouth in
the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a
After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn't been
stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he
had brought a dozen wild horses with him. Once again the village
people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. "Old man, you were
right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing.
Please forgive us."
The man responded, "Once again, you go too far. Say only that
the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with
him, but don't judge. How do you know if this is a blessing or not?
You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, now can
you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the
whole book? You read only one word of a phrase. Can you understand
the entire phrase?
"Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or
one word. All you have is a fragment! Don't say that this is a
blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not
perturbed by what I don't."
"Maybe the old man is right," they said to one another. So
they said little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew
it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had returned with one horse.
With a little bit of work, the animals could be broken and
trained and sold for much money.
The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to
break the wild horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the
horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around
the old man and cast their judgments.
"You were right," they said. "You proved you were right. The
dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son
has broken his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help
you. Now you are poorer than ever.
The old man spoke again. "You people are obsessed with
judging. Don't go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who
knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a
fragment. Life comes in fragments."
It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in
war against a neighboring country. All the young men of the village
were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was
excluded, because he was injured. Once again the people gathered around
the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken.
There was little chance that they would return. The enemy was
strong and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see
their sons again.
"You were right, old man," they wept. "God knows you were
right. This proves it. Your son's accident was a blessing. His legs
may be broken, but at least he is with you. Our sons are gone
The old man spoke again. "It is impossible to talk with you.
You always draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this: Your
sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No one knows if it is a
blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows."
[In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado.]
The natural inclination in Christian living is to act on the
impulse of a good idea. Not every good idea is from God. Sometimes good
ideas get in the way of God ideas.
Where does your inspiration come from? The vision of the
transfigured Christ inspired Peter: "O Lord, it is good for us to be here. If
you wish, I will put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses
and one for Elijah" (Matthew 17:4). Our natural impulse is to do
something good for God and suggest it to Him.
The tendency of the well-meaning person is to prepare a plan
to do some good idea, and then pray, "Jesus, this is my plan. It is
a good plan. It hurts no one, and I want it to please You. Lord,
please bless my plan." It is plan, then pray.
So many of our ideas are impetuous. They are not what the Lord
wants to do. They do not resemble in any way the things which concern
Him. We have good ideas, but they are not God ideas. His agenda and
our agenda conflict. We want to build Him a shelter but that is not
what He wants.... When Peter, James, and John heard the voice of the
Lord . . . they abandoned their inventive-but-self-made idea. The
presence of the Lord magnified, and His holiness brought them to their
senses. Jesus gained their attention, not by subduing them with a stem
scolding, but by magnifying His presence until all the genius of their
human ideas was bleached out by His refulgent face.
When they abandoned their good idea and fell facedown before
the Lord, He could work with them again....
When you and I abandon our good idea and fall to our face
before me Lord, then He will come and touch us, too. When we pursue our
own plan He cannot use us. We must abandon our good idea and fall
facedown before Him. Then He will be able to use us again. Then He will
reveal what He is doing - a God idea.... It is pray, then plan. Through
prayer, Jesus instructs of His plan, a God idea.
Prayer removes the impulse of the good idea, the good idea
born of human ingenuity but not of God. Pray, then plan. It is the
habit of the surrendered saint. (From Walking with Christ in the
Details of Life by Patrick M. Morley) [Inspirational SB]
God's knowledge and wisdom are far greater than man's. We are
foolish to try to fit God into our mold--to make his plans and purposes
conform to ours. Instead, we must strive to fit into his plans - and
that takes prayer. [Life Application SB]
We should form our plans with submission to the higher purposes
of God. (Barnes' Notes)
Even when we do not understand what God is up to in our lives -
which may happen frequently - He asks us to trust Him. He knows what
He is doing, even if we cannot comprehend His methods or timing.
For to obey God is to bless ourselves; to disobey Him is to curse
ourselves. "I have come," Jesus said, "that they may have life, and that
they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). [Life Principles SB
By Charles Stanley re Isa. 55:9]