“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says 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 big question: how is God’s love higher than our ways?
As we continue to study the context of Isaiah 55, the theme of God’s infinite mercy (as we discussed in the previous devotional) leads us to another related characteristic of God—His love. God shows us mercy by not giving us the just penalty for our sin, and this mercy flows from His love, as God is love (John 4:16).
The Apostle Paul connected these two attributes: “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Ephesians 2:4–5).
In everyday conversation, we often use the word “love” so carelessly that it loses significance. We say, “Jesus loves you,” and then use the same word to describe our “love” for a sport, hobby, or favorite food. Clearly, our “love” for football or pizza is vastly different from God’s love for us. Human love is often self-centered, subconsciously asking, “How does this benefit me or make me feel good?”
God’s love is not based on what we do for Him because we have nothing to offer that He has not already given us (Isaiah 64:6). Our very breath belongs to God (Job 12:10), so what could we possibly give to earn His favor? In addition, we repeatedly rebel against God and choose sin out of an evil heart (Jeremiah 17:9).
We are not lovely. That is why God’s love for us is so unbelievable; it is gracious and merciful by nature—such a difference from mankind’s “love,” which is often self-serving. How can we even begin to comprehend such a love? Scripture gives us the answer: look to the Cross. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8), and “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us” (1 John 3:16).
Jesus Christ, God made flesh, suffered and died in our place so that we could be saved (John 3:16). That is true love! We have a promise of salvation based not on our merit but on the work of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8–9). That is why, in the beginning verses of Isaiah 55, God calls out in love and invites everyone who thirsts to receive salvation with rich blessing:
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. (Isaiah 55:2–3)
Today’s big idea: no love can compare to God’s unconditional love for us.
What to pray: worship God for His amazing love!