Something We Believe But We Do Not Believe

Just for fun, let me share with you a familiar Bible verse. You know this one if you have been in church for any time at all. You probably can quote it. And of course you believe it—except maybe you don’t.

Isaiah 55:8-9

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

What did God just say? He says that he does not think like we think. His thoughts and ways are above ours. How much above ours? God’s thoughts are infinitely above ours. How far up is up? How far is it to the end of the universe? That is an illustration of how much greater are God’s thoughts than ours.

We believe this. Really we do. WE know that God is infinitely above us. We know that his ways are not our ways. We know that he can see things we cannot see. We know that he knows the past, the present, and the future in ways that we cannot imagine.

But, then again, we do not believe this verse. We really don’t. How can I say that? Just consider when you come across a biblical concept that you struggle to understand. Especially consider when you come across a biblical concept that does not appeal to you. It might be hell. It might be theodicy. It might be election. It might be end times doctrine. What do you do when you struggle to understand something or understand the why behind something? Do you not assume that things are impossible if you cannot understand them?

How about when you face personal suffering? Do you demand an explanation from God? That is what Job did. Job thought he should be able to understand God’s reasoning. And when the Lord met with Job, the Lord made it clear that God’s thoughts are infinitely higher than Job’s thoughts. And then, at the end of it all, God never explained to Job his motivation. God simply helped Job to come to a place of accepting that God is big, Job is small, and that is OK.

We believe that God’s ways are higher than ours and his thoughts higher than ours. We know that God is infinitely above and beyond us in his wisdom. And then again we do not believe these things when we struggle to understand. May we become a people who rest in the truth that God’s ways are not ours. God does not think like us. God does not work like us. God’s knowledge is not limited like ours. God’s motives are not polluted with sin like ours. God is God and we are not.