I don’t understand the pattern Lisa talked about last week, but I’m so grateful for it, just the same. “We need; God provides. That’s the gospel.” I want that, even if I can’t grasp it all.
- How could the holy God doze away barriers to make way for ever-fallen, failing me?
- How could the One who delights to give rain down grace on ever-receiving me?
- How could the Father give the Son for the orphans who didn’t love back … yet?
To demonstrate His intimate knowledge of us, God anticipated our bewilderment. He tenderly sheds light on our confusion in the verses following the crazy declaration that if we seek Him, “He will abundantly pardon.” ( from Isaiah 55:7) Not just adequately forgiven, but abundantly forgiven. The only right response is to worship Him.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares 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)
- His thoughts are His purposes, His plans, and His intentions. And His thoughts are so unlike ours. I wouldn’t pardon abundantly, but that’s His plan.
- His ways are His path, His direction, His journey, and His manner. And His manner is so unlike ours. I wouldn’t invite opposers to seek me out, but that’s His manner.
Our ways and our thoughts are so different from God’s that we can compare the contrast to the distance of heaven to earth. There are many ways to define how far space is from earth, but the International Space Station orbits at 400 km from earth; a constant boost is necessary since it is constantly “scraping” the atmosphere of the world. From earth to heaven is higher than high. But “higher” here exceeds an earthly sense of distance. Instead, it refers to lofty in deserving exaltation.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
There will be a day when God reveals how He could extend His abundant pardon to us. For now, His lofty plans and His higher manner is to be exalted above my small understanding. I don’t understand His great mercy that invites those far off to “Seek the Lord while He may be found,” but I’m so glad He invites. You?