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How Much Higher Are the Heavens than the Earth?

Biblical Authority Devotional: The Higher Ways of God, Part 3

by Jeremy Ham on November 8, 2010
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Just as the heavens are higher than the earth so are God’s thoughts higher than ours. Jeremy Ham, AiG–U.S., explains.

“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 much higher are the heavens than the earth?

In the two previous devotionals, we studied the higher ways of God in light of Isaiah 55:8, and now we will look at verse 9. The Lord uses the analogy of the heavens being much higher than the earth when considering the ways and thoughts of God, which could bring up the question, “Are the heavens infinitely higher than the earth?”

After all, we have been discussing how God’s thoughts and ways are infinitely higher than ours. We are finite beings, but God is all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal, holy, and much more.

Furthermore, the message of the gospel also shows how God’s ways are, indeed, higher than our ways. God could have just completely destroyed sinful humanity with the Flood instead of instructing Noah to build the Ark so that he and his family could be saved. However, even before God created the universe, He planned to send His Son to save us. (1 Peter 1:20).

As we study this analogy, we can see similar comparisons in Scripture when describing an “amount.” For example, two common analogies compare something with the number of stars or grains of sand.

God’s Word uses these analogies when describing the number of descendants Abraham would have. For example, Scripture states, “Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore” (Hebrews 11:12). In other words, Abraham will have a lot of descendants.

Moreover, David uses this same sand analogy when writing about God’s thoughts:

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You. (Psalm 139:17–18)

The number of the grains of sand would be astronomical, yet God’s thoughts still outnumber them. David pointed out that God’s thoughts are infinite. We must be careful not to get caught up too much in the analogy and lose the meaning of the passage. Regarding the heavens and earth analogy, the point is not how much higher the heavens are than the earth, but that God’s ways and thoughts are infinitely and immeasurably higher than our ways.

Today’s big idea: we cannot measure how much higher God’s ways and thoughts are than ours.

What to pray: thank God for His infinitely higher ways and thoughts.

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