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As high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so my ways and my thoughts are higher than yours.
10 “As the snow and rain that fall from heaven[a]
    do not return until they have accomplished their purpose,
    soaking the earth and causing it to sprout with new life,
    providing seed to sow and bread to eat.
11 So also will be the word[b] that I speak;
    it does not return to me unfulfilled.[c]
    My word performs my purpose
    and fulfills the mission I sent it out to accomplish.”[d]

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  1. Isaiah 55:10 In the language of biblical metaphor, snow is a picture of mercy blanketing the earth. Rain is a frequent symbol of revelation-teaching that soaks the heart (soil) and makes us fruitful. Note the seven terms for God’s Word in vv. 8–10: thoughts, ways, snow, rain, water, seed, bread. These same terms can be used to describe the Lord Jesus. He is the seed of the woman, living bread, the way and the life that sprouts in us. He is the Word that was sent (as our Apostle, Heb. 3:1), and he will not return to heaven without accomplishing all God’s pleasure.
  2. Isaiah 55:11 In the context, God’s word is his promise to show love, compassion, and forgiveness to all who turn to him.
  3. Isaiah 55:11 Or “empty.”
  4. Isaiah 55:11 The Septuagint adds a phrase not found in the Hebrew: “And I will make your way prosperous.”