How many of you have ever heard the Scripture quoted “God’s ways are not our ways?” If you’re like me, especially if you grew up in the south, you’ve heard it too many times to count. It has been used to cover all manner of situations and circumstances in my life. From the hardest loss to the coolest turn of events in my favor, I’ve heard it or said it.
Now how many of you know where it comes from in The Bible. To be honest, I’m no sure I did until tonight. I’m reading through Isaiah, and tonight I came across the verses our little quote is from. It’s found in chapter 55, verses 6-9. I’m not quoting the whole thing here tonight (I’m doing this on my phone, and that’s a lot to type. You’re on a computer…look it up! Or better yet, grab your Bible!).
The passage is talking about God doing a new thing. It’s talking about the wicked and unrighteous fleeing their sins and returning to the Lord. It’s talking about us repenting of sin. But then comes the cooled part:
“Let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:7b
Those words immediately precede our familiar quote about His ways and thougts not being like ours. Do you see it? Do you see why this is so cool? The way it’s talkig about is grace!!!! It’s talking about what God was going to to through Jesus to redeem the world!
Pardon! Compassion! Forgiveness! Grace! Mercy! These are certainly not our ways or thoughts. No, we want justice and vengence. We want blood. And surely it is required. But we could never pay it. We could never even come close to paying the debt we’ve accumulated. But had we come up with all this, had we “made” Christianity like all other religions, we’d have figured a way for us to pull it off. We’d have put a lot of works and bootstraps in it for us to pull ourselves up with. Our ways would have been full of us.
But God’s ways are not our ways. For while we were stil sinners, He sent Christ to become sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (See 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:8). He made the way completely apar from us. All we bring to the table is repentance (well, even that is His gift!!). Jesus paid it all.
Truly, His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are high above ours!!!