Originally Posted by handmaiden
I must admit that this left me confused. I think that it means that if something bad happens to a believer then it's a blessing or a test of faith. If the same thing happens to an unbeliever or a reprobate Christian it's a punishment to them and a warning to others.
Does that sound right?
While we cannot know the mind of God, as He tells us in the Word (1 Corinthians 2:11), we know that His judgments are always swift and true (Malachi 3:5). And while as I said we can't know God's mind or His intentions, it is important to remember that He doesn't leave us in the dark.
No, indeed He grants us knowledge of His ways and therefore His mind, although He told us we cannot know these things. Just read Psalm 103, where in verse 7 we find the words: "He made known His ways to Moses; His deeds to the people of Israel." It's so crystal clear! So why does He claim that we cannot know Him even though we can? He is GOD. He is almighty and can do as He wishes.
But there is more to the story. As with any passage of Scripture, the context
is key to proper interpretation. To whom is the “your” in Isaiah 55:8 referring? Who are those people who do not think or act like God? From the preceding verse, Isaiah 55:7, we discover it is the wicked and evil people of the world
. Wicked people do not think or act like God (Ps. 5:4; 10:4), but righteous people are to imitate Him (Eph. 5:1). You cannot effectively imitate someone unless you know a great deal about him, and the fact that righteous people are commanded to imitate God shows that we can know much about Him.
It is for this reason that God says we cannot know Him - but WE (His Chosen) can! Hallelujah! Glory! Oh, our God is so good to us, Sister. He is like the late character Stefano on "Days of our Lives." A loving father who cares for his sons, but who will strike you dead if you defy him or go against his family. I wonder at times if the Lord wrote that soap opera Himself, but then I see the gay marriages and adultery and other sinful things that are portrayed as normal and I slap myself in the face and say, "Snap out of it, Larry - the Lord wouldn't allow these things in the real world, and don't you have to be at prayer meeting soon and here you are in your underwear eating pretzels watching TV." And then all is well in the world again.
I think God wants me to get rid of my DVR.
I hope this has helped you understand. I took time out from consoling Brother Tom, whose sad, weary head is laying against my thigh as I write this, his entire body heaving with the pangs that come when we lose loved ones.
Well, we're off to play some Frisbee. Have a super sparkly day!