An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
(Isaiah 55:8-9)

Today’s verse passage reminds us that God’s wisdom, power, and moral goodness infinitely surpass our own. We should not be surprised when His plans and purposes conflict with our own understanding and sensibilities. Even though we know these things as propositions adopted by the mind, in our hearts we still often find ourselves perplexed and frustrated by what we see and experience in this life. Studying the Scriptures, we see God accomplishing His plans and purposes, advancing His kingdom and vanquishing His enemies in ways undreamed of by fallen, finite man. Studying and believing the Scriptures fills our hearts with courage and faith. We choose to believe that, despite outward appearances, God is at work, causing all things to work together for the purpose of greater goods. The sacred Scriptures are replete with references to God’s surprising strategies. He navigated the fleeing Israelites to the shore of the Red Sea following their exodus from Egypt. From man’s perspective, this was the least defensible position imaginable. With the Egyptian army advancing, Israel’s utter destruction looked certain. No one could have imagined that God would use that particular site and circumstance to preserve His people alive and to wipe their enemies from the earth (Exodus 14). In the days of our Lord’s earthly ministry, God chose to advance the teaching and preaching ministry of His dear Son in surprising ways. Often the Lord would command His disciples to stay silent regarding what they had seen and heard (Matthew 8:4; 16:30; 17:9; Mark 7:36; 8:30; 9:9; Luke 5:14; 8:56; 9:21). This strange evangelism strategy was actually the fulfillment of prophecy (Matthew 12:18-21 cf. Isaiah 42:1-4). Similarly, no one could have imagined that God would wipe away our sin debt and reconcile us to Himself in the way that He did. This message is a stumbling block to the Jews and utter foolishness to the Greeks (1 Corinthians 1:23). But we preach “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). “Love your enemies,” said Jesus, “bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 cf. Romans 12:20). According to man’s “wisdom” this is a strange and impracticable way to “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Redeemed, regenerated, and reconciled to God, we believe and obey Him, knowing that His plans and purposes will prevail, even when His strategies seem strange!

God bless and strengthen you today, dear saints,

Pastor John