Isa. 55:8

Robert Hawker

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."–Isa. lv. 8.

My soul, hast thou ever considered the blessedness in this verse, as it concerns the great work of salvation? Ponder over it, this evening. There is nothing, perhaps, in which there is a greater and more striking difference than there is between our crude and contracted notions of redemption, and the perfect and unerring thoughts of Jehovah on this point. Our conduct towards each other is so limited on the score of pardon, that though we may forgive a first or second offence, yet if it be repeated too many, nature revolts at the offender, and seems to take a kind of justification ,in withholding any farther acts of clemency. Hence; we frame the same standard to judge by, concerning God. But with God, abounding sin calls forth abounding grace, and, like the tide, riseth above high water-mark, yea, overflows all the banks and surrounding ground; so much so, indeed, that it covers the mountains, and "If the sin of Judah be looked for, it shall not found." Hence the prophet, in a transport of holy joy and triumph in the contemplation, cries out, "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again: he will have compassion upon us: he will subdue our iniquities; and thou will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea," Micah vii. 18, 19. How truly blessed, then, must it be, to carry 'the same kind of reasoning concerning God into all the departments of thinking, in relation to himself and his dealings with us. Think as highly as I may be able concerning him, I must fall infinitely short of what he really is, both in the nature of his existence, and in all his dealings with his creatures. In those points where he hath been pleased to reveal himself, I cannot err. But if I attempt to go farther, the bar to inquiry stops my way, and this sweet verse stand for a memorandum to inform me': "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." Now grace rejoiceth in this discovery, while proud unhumbled nature revolts at it. Say, my soul, dost thou feel delight in such views of Jehovah? Is it blessed to thee, that in all thy Jesus hath taught thee, he hath brought thee to see more and more thy nothingness, thy littleness, and the Lord's all-sufficiency? Surely it must be divine teaching alone that can create joy in the heart, when such discoveries are made which tend to humble the creature and exalt the Creator. Blessed be the Lord, who teacheth me to profit!