“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
We often hear people talk about the “five-thousand” or “thirty-thousand-foot view” for looking at the big picture of a business project. However, when we talk about how God sees things, even thirty-thousand feet is an extremely short distance – just a little higher than Mount Everest (29,029 feet).
The picture above (Image Credit: NASA/OSIRIS-REx team and the University of Arizona) is a composite of three photos taken from a distance of three-million miles from earth. The earth is the small blue dot in the upper left and the moon is the small white dot in the upper right.
The photo, taken inside our solar system, gives us some insight into the tiny size of the earth. However, given the extremely small size of our solar system in the vast universe we still have a long way to go to understand Isaiah’s statement that God’s ways are higher than our ways – comparing how the heavens are higher than the earth.
God is eternal and created the heavens and the earth. That means God exists outside time and space. He knows and does things in a much different way than we do. God is VERY BIG and we are very small. He KNOWS EVERYTHING. We know a few things. He is ETERNAL and IMMORTAL. We are trapped in time and made of mortal stuff. We grow weary and lose strength as we age. What hope do we have?
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
God is our eternal hope! Our strength and energy to do His will flows directly from Him to us. God will accomplish His eternal will through us. Thus, our Lord taught us to pray –
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13
God, our Heavenly Father, is enthroned in Heaven. His Name is to be hallowed (honored, respected, revered). We want His Kingdom to come. We want His Will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We are dependent on God for our daily food, for forgiveness and protection. Why? Because God has the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever.
God sees all and knows all. He knows everything from an eternal perspective, which means He knows everything from the beginning. Nothing surprises Him. Nothing confuses Him. He is in complete control of all things. He sees time and space from the unique vantage point of eternity.
“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’” Isaiah 46:9-10
“He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” Psalm 147:4-5
“Can anyone teach God knowledge, Since He judges those on high?” Job 21:22
So, what does that mean to us? It means we all must give an account to God –
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13
Imagining how God sees things from an eternal perspective is difficult for us because we live in time and space. Pictures we’ve seen of the earth from the moon and the International Space Station have given us some idea of the small size of our planet. However, even those pictures can’t tell the whole story. What seems like a great distance to us is nothing to the Eternal God.
Even the three-million-mile view of the earth and moon at the top of this article gives us only a small idea of how God sees us. He sees from both eternity and time and space. He sees us as we are and considers what we do:
“The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.” Psalm 33:13-15
Jesus Christ, God the Son, entered into a human body in time and space and died for our sins. He rose from the dead, demonstrated the reality of His resurrection to His disciples, then ascended to His throne in Heaven. Jesus sent God the Holy Spirit to dwell inside His children and guide them minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, until their earthly journey is done.
What It Means
What this means is that God knows all and knows best. We do not know all or best – not even close. We must rely on God to understand what we see and experience in life. Even when we don’t understand what we see and experience, we know God’s character and trust Him.
Joseph is a good example of this. His brothers sold him into captivity and told their father, Jacob, that Joseph was killed by a wild animal. Joseph was sold to an officer of the Egyptian pharaoh. The officer’s wife lied about Joseph and he was thrown into prison. Joseph trusted God through all of it. He didn’t know what was going to happen to him, but he knew the God in whom he trusted.
Joseph later interpreted the pharaoh’s dream and became second in command of Egypt. Joseph led the massive effort that eventually saved people in Egypt and surrounding areas from a terrible drought. Joseph’s family benefited from the position he held in Egypt; a position Joseph would not have had if his brothers had not sold him into captivity.
Here’s what Joseph told his brothers –
“Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50:19-21
God has that kind of knowledge about everyone who has ever lived and will ever live. He knows what is, what will be and what would have been. That’s difficult for us to understand, but it’s vital that we accept our God knows everything and knows what’s best.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
We can trust God to always do what is right. He sees everything from an eternal vantage point. What we see coming at us in time and space may seem unfair or even unjust, but God knows all and knows best.
We used the three-million-mile view to help us think outside the box of how most people look at things. It’s easy for us to get caught up in the moment and respond to people and events fearfully. The three-million-mile view gives us a way to look at people and events in a new way – without fear.
Three-million miles is about space/distance, but what about time? We could also call this the three-million-year view. God knows everything that will happen in space and time. He knows how your life will impact people and how your impact on their lives will impact other lives for generations. He knows how something we do or don’t do will impact our family now and for future generations. He knows how what other people do will impact us now and in future generations.
God is a generational God – meaning that what He does impacts generations of people. Because God is eternal He views things from a perspective of how one thing impacts many things through time and space. Here are some examples:
“Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ And God said: ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” Genesis 9:11-13
“No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” Genesis 17:5-8
“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ Moreover God said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’” Exodus 3:14-15
“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.” Psalm 33:10-12
“I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: ‘Your seed I will establish forever, And build up your throne to all generations.’” Psalm 89:3-4
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5
“He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations.” Psalm 105:7-9
“Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides. They continue this day according to Your ordinances, For all are Your servants.” Psalm 119:89-91
“And gave their land as a heritage, A heritage to Israel His people. Your name, O Lord, endures forever, Your fame, O Lord, throughout all generations. For the Lord will judge His people, And He will have compassion on His servants.” Psalm 135:12-14
“All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, And Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power, To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.” Psalm 145:10-13
We should follow the example of people who have gone before us and trust God in all things. That’s why Christians are told to “live by faith” and “walk by faith.” Faith is trusting God who knows all things and knows what’s best. Our faith is not blind or without reason. We have good reason to trust the God who sees all and knows all.
Will everything make sense to us at some point in our earthly lifetime? Some things will, but some things won’t. There is no way we could know now how something we do for Christ will impact people long after we’ve died. When will difficult things in this lifetime make sense to us? Everything will be clearer when we are with Jesus Christ in Heaven.
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:11-12
Paul was not saying that we would “know” everything like God does (e.g. omniscience), but we will see things clearly. It may be that God will show us how people affected us and how we affected others during our lifetime and how our lives impacted people future generations. We very well may meet people from those future generations and learn how God’s eternal plan worked perfectly to accomplish His will.
One thing we know for sure is that we will see Jesus clearly in Heaven and be with Him forever!
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
“And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:3-5
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.