Isaiah 55:8-9 reads:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares 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.
Here are some reasons why, in the context of the book, I don’t think we should interpret this to mean that God got to where he is by progression or advancement, or that he is among others who are becoming the same kind of being (omnipotent, omniscient beings big-G Gods who are worshiped by their own spirit children):
- In 14:4-21 (13-14 in particular), one who says in his heart, “I will make myself like the Most High”, is condemned as pompous and arrogant (14:11).*
- He created the heavens and earth without any help or collaboration. “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.” (Isaiah 44:24, cf. 40:22, 45:12)
- He never learned from another: “Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?” (40:14).
- “His understanding is unsearchable.” (40:28) Like a stopwatch ticking up to infinity, we can progress forever but never arrive at the wisdom he has always had.
- He doesn’t have a divine genealogy (chronologically speaking): “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” (43:10)
- He is the first and the last: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” (44:6)
- He doesn’t know of any other like himself: “Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” (44:8)
- None is alike or equal to him: “To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?” (40:18) “To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.” (40:25) “To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be alike?” (46:5)
- There is none like him: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.” (46:9)
- His glory is uniquely his, and is not shared with any other: “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” (48:11)
I don’t see reason to lessen these statements with the limiting qualifier, “for this planet”, or, “for his particular spirit children”, etc. Isaiah seems to be at pains to show that the Most High is literally the Most High, supreme over both “the heavens and earth”, which is an ancient way of saying “evvvvverything.” Isaiah 55:8-9 seems to be continuing the idea that God is entirely a different kind of being than us.
* There is a neat contrast here with Isaiah 14: Satan & Babylon are (or will be) humiliated in hell for their arrogance, but Jesus, who was already equal with the Father (John 17:5), always the Most High, made himself “lower than the angels” (Heb. 2:9), and is “exalted… above every name” (Philippians 2:9). As Jesus said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)