Are God’s Thoughts Your Thoughts?

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“For my ways are not your ways, neither are your thoughts My thoughts,” declares the Lord. “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are My thoughts above your thoughts and My ways above your ways.” — Isaiah 5?:??

This passage has been shared in churches so many times that many of us can quote it almost verbatim without ever having tried to memorize it. But do we really understand it if we don’t read it in context?

The fact that it begins with the word “for” tells us that this isn’t really the beginning of this passage. This is God’s response to whatever he discusses just before this. “For” in this context clearly is being used as a synonym for the word “because.” Think about that for a moment. That means that this sentence is not the point God was trying to emphasize. What He was really trying to communicate is what came before this sentence. This sentence is an explanation for why He said whatever came before it.

Unfortunately, as pastors and teachers who have this verse memorized, it is easy for us to grab it out of context to back up the idea that we are currently trying to convey. Perhaps we’re trying to demonstrate that we are not nearly as intelligent as God or that we’re not nearly as powerful as God.

Of course our thoughts are not like God’s thoughts. Who could possibly think like God? His knowledge and wisdom are infinitely greater than ours! We’re idiots compared to Him!

But is that really the message God was trying to get through to us? The only way to find out is to back up and read the verses leading up to this one.