“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” Declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, 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.
What wonderfully encouraging words these are!
First, God is bigger than we are so when I turn to him, I am turning to one who is able to see the end from the beginning; the one who knows my thoughts and my ways and can see them from the perspective of eternity. What a joy that is to know. To know that he is a sure and certain guide if I will but lay all before him, heed his correction where needed and look to him to guide me in his way. Then I can go forward with confidence seeking him daily (v.6) for if I seek he is there to be found and called upon.
Second, he will work out his purposes whatever my limited perspective may cause me to feel. He uses the illustration of rain and snow which ultimately are in his control and without any intervention from us, do their work. That is the Water Cycle, used here by God, through Isaiah, to point to the Word Cycle.
We rely on the Water Cycle for physical life and on occasions, when it is interrupted, by abnormalities such as drought or an excess of rain over which we have no control, we all too easily complain. Then we still need to trust in the one who has the whole world in his hands and who is working out his purposes out as year succeeds to year.
The Word Cycle we can control to an extent, for the Word is an open book and it is in our control as to whether we ‘read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it’ or sit lightly on it. If we follow that fourfold approach to the word then we have the promise of v.12. This means that our lives as individual believers and corporately as a church will be effective and every sharing of the word by whatever means will not be wasted.
Therefore let us take courage and not be ashamed to share God’s word with others.