“For as the heavens are higher then the earth, so are my ways higher then your ways, and my thoughts then your thoughts. ”
I hear both rebuke and exhortation here. God says earlier in the chapter that we are double minded – “Wherefore do you spend money on that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfies not?” I hunger and thirst and my soul is dead because I spend everything I have on what is not bread, and all my strength on what does not satisfy or bring forth life. I try to have life and fill up what lacks in me by drinking and eating from more of what has made me hungry and thirsty in the first place. In short, I look to myself and what is earthly.
In verse 9 God uses the distance between the heavens and the earth to show how completely separate man’s thoughts are to His, and man’s ways to His ways. There is nothing in what I live for and think on that will satisfy or impart life. All of my thoughts, no matter how noble, will never be pure and lead me to thinking on what is lovely. None of my ways, even though they may be helping others and doing a lot of “good”, will ever lead me into “The Way”.
When I think of this it can be very disheartening. But that’s because I’m thinking through my heart, (my belief system). His heart is, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” “Eat ye that which is good”… “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live”…
I am separated from God because of my thoughts and my ways. He knows it and tells me, that I may know. He tells me, not to keep me in my place as man, but to wreck me, to humble me, so that He can show me the way to Himself. He has covered the span between earth and heaven that we may know Him. He has done this through The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
By forsaking my ways and thoughts, through eating that which is good, (through eating The Word), I come to the waters and my thoughts and my ways are quenched and are then filled up with His thoughts and ways. His Word does not return void, but accomplishes what He sent it to do!