More from Isaiah today! It’s making me realise what a rich book Isaiah is, looking at these different passages. Here’s today’s reading from chapter 55:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”
(Isaiah 55:8-13 NIV)
Verses 8-9 – the first two verses here – are some of my favourite verses in the bible. They remind me that our God is nothing like a capricious human, He is God and is far above us, He doesn’t treat us as we deserve or as humans treat each other. These verses always bring me huge comfort.I’ve already spoken about how the themes we’re looking at are intimately linked. What I realised today (as I didn’t put this programme together myself) is that the themes also come in a kind of logical progression. First we read about hope, having hope brings us a sense of peace, experiencing peace leads us into joy… Thinking on the idea of God’s thoughts not being like our thoughts, this also means that He has a totally different perspective on our lives from us. He literally has a bird’s eye view of our lives from beginning to end. It’s like our life is a beautiful tapestry – all we can see is the messy side, the back, and just a small section at a time. God sees the other side and the whole picture He is creating.
He can already see that we SHALL go out with joy. We get glimpses of this joy in the Lord in this life sometimes but this also points to the end of time when Christ will come again when:
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
I always think that the last scene of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe depicts beautifully the joy of salvation, where the children receive the ‘crown of life’ (James 1:12). Look how they’re ‘led forth in peace’: