Isaiah 55:8

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

Isaiah 55:8 in Other Translations

KJV
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
ESV
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
NLT
8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD . “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
MSG
8 "I don't think the way you think. The way you work isn't the way I work." God's Decree.
CSB
8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways." [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration.

Isaiah 55:8 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 55:8

For my thoughts are not your thoughts
In some things there may be a likeness between the thoughts of God and the thoughts of men, as to the nature of them: thoughts are natural and essential to them both; they are within them, are internal acts, and unknown to others, till made known; but then the thoughts of men are finite and limited, whereas the thoughts of the Lord are infinite and boundless; men's thoughts have a beginning, but the Lord's have none; though not so much the nature as the quality of them is here intended: the thoughts of men are evil, even the imagination of their thoughts, yea, every imagination is, and that always and only so; but the thoughts of God are holy, as appears from his purposes and covenant, and all his acts of grace, in redemption, calling, and preparing his people for glory: the thoughts of men, as to the object of them, are vain, and nothing worth; their thoughts and sentiments of things are very different from the Lord's, as about sin, concerning Christ, the truths of the Gospel, the people of God, religion, holiness, and a future state, and in reference to the business of salvation; they think they can save themselves; that their own works of righteousness are sufficient to justify them; their privileges and profession such, that they shall be saved; their wisdom, riches, and honour, a security to them from damnation: however, that their sincere obedience, with repentance for what is amiss, will entitle them to happiness: but the thoughts of God are the reverse of all this; particularly with respect to pardoning mercy their thoughts are different; carnal men think of mercy, but not of justice, and of having pardoning mercy in an absolute way, and not through Christ, and without conversion and repentance; and so this is a reason why men's thoughts are to be forsaken, because so very unlike to the Lord's. Or else these words are to be considered as an argument, proving that God does abundantly pardon all returning sinners; since he is not like men, backward to forgive, especially great and aggravated crimes, but is ready, free, and willing to forgive, even those of the most aggravated circumstances. Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord;
the ways which God prescribes and directs men to walk in are different from theirs; his are holy, theirs unholy; his are plain, theirs crooked; his are ways of light, theirs ways of darkness; his are pleasant, theirs not so, at least in the issue; his lead to life, theirs to death; and therefore there is good reason why they should leave their evil ways, and walk in his. Moreover, the ways which he takes in the salvation of men are different from those which they, naturally pursue, and especially in the pardon of sin; he pardons freely, fully, without any reserve, or private grudge, forgetting as well as forgiving.

Isaiah 55:8 In-Context

6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 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,

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Cross References 2

  • 1. Philippians 2:5; Philippians 4:8
  • 2. Isaiah 53:6; Micah 4:12