So how many years have I heard this verse and thought I knew what it was talking about? Many. But I guess I didn’t. Not really, and not until this week when I was reading my chapter a day (this time obviously in Isaiah) and read the verse in its context.
Context. That’s pretty important.
So I have always thought that the verse was talking about how God’s thoughts and ways are way beyond ours, so much so that we cannot comprehend them.
And it is.
But for some reason I thought it was in reference to the way He works things out differently than we would ever imagine.
Which He often does.
But in these verses, it is very specific.
The verse just prior to verse 8 (so 7) reads . . . Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
And there you have it.
God will have mercy. He will pardon freely.
And that is how God’s thoughts and ways are not ours—at least not mine. Because having mercy and pardoning freely are not in my DNA. I want to hold grudges. I like to keep score. I want to withhold forgiveness until I feel it is earned. I, unfortunately, am a Jonah. I want my personal Ninevites to experience God’s judgement not His mercy. I want them to pay.
So it looks like I need to take a lesson from Isaiah 55:7 and “forsake [my] way and unrighteous . . . thought” and turn to the LORD.
And now I am grateful—extremely grateful—that God has mercy and pardons freely.