Sunjae Kim, NCC General Secretary
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:8-11)
These are the words that Isaiah, the prophet (called “the second Isaiah” in the Biblical study), spoke to the Israelite people who were living as captured for more than a half-century after they had been forcibly taken to Babylon from the beginning of the 6th century B.C.
The second Isaiah, who was told the end of the Exile by God, speaks that God’s thoughts and plans are much higher than the human beings’ thoughts, never ends in vain, and will surely be fulfilled when the time comes.
During the Exile that lasted for a half century, the people might have almost given up that the day they would be liberated from the captured lives in Babylonia could come. To melt their hearts that had frozen by despair, remind them of God’s word, awake them to faith again, make them recall hope of liberation, Isaiah tells God’s word by using a metaphor of nature. He says rain and snow will never disappear in vain after they fall from heaven to earth, they will make new buds sprout from the earth and bear fruit when people forget.
Having started the year 2019, let’s walk the road of hope without being disappointed by the cruel reality around us, believing that the promise of God’s word beyond our thoughts will sprout toward spring and be carried out.