God declares an aspect of His being as that He does not change. God is not capricious, being in one mind and mode one day and changing quickly to something else. God doesn’t change His mind about His plans, His purposes or His promises.
“I am the LORD, I change not” Malachi 3:6
“God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change– he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.” Psalm 55:19
“He who is Israel’s Glory does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.” 1Samuel 15:29
Most things in our world change in various ways over time. The social values I grew up with have been drastically altered in my lifetime. Things that were shunned as evil are now made legal and celebrated. What was once high fashion now looks silly. What was once popular is now worthless. Nations change their name and their nature, those in control are overcome and new powers emerge, those who were once revered are now scorned, and so it goes.
With all that change it can be hard to imagine that God remains relevant if He isn’t changing with the times. How can words that were once cherished in old English language be of any relevance in a world vastly different to a hundred years ago? How can we obey laws and principles given in the Bible when those values are scoffed at in modern society.
If God doesn’t change isn’t that to His disadvantage?
What we see as change is simply the shifting of sands according to cultural currents. But important things are not built on sand. For all our technology and scientific advances human nature has not evolved or changed. Jealousy, pride, resentment, lust, hunger for power, greed, addiction, enslavement of heart and mind, shame, guilt, fear and a host of other powerful human realities are just the same as ever. Sin is still sin. Death is still death. Accountability before God has not changed. Love is still love, despite the various things our culture might call ‘love’. Forgiveness is still forgiveness. Being ‘born again’ is the same as it was two thousand years ago. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is the same amazing experience today that it was on the day of Pentecost.
I read recently a description of how judges can interpret the law almost however they want, depending on what they put emphasis on. Is it the letter of the law or the intent of the law? Is it the meaning of the common man or the specific meaning in legal terms? How does it fit with the overall purpose of the legislation and its stated intent? Is the seeming contradiction in some legislation a mistake or a deliberate provision? Which word in a sentence carries the most weight? And so on it goes.
Judges can come up with opposing decisions and opposing approaches to the same law, depending on how they want to move a particular case, or how a lawyer has influenced them.
So in the light of so much uncertainty about even the meaning of things as significant as our laws what does it mean that God does not change? Does God have ‘wriggle room’ when it comes to applying His laws?
God is absolute. He is absolutely holy. When He speaks He does not intend ambiguity. He is not covering His bases or making generalisations. When man stands before God for judgement there will be nothing capricious about God’s determinations. They will be pure and perfect in every case, consistent and sure.
God makes perfect judgement.
At the same time God’s promises and blessings are perfect, certain and without variation.
“I will give you the sure mercies of David.” Acts 13:34
The fact that God does not change does not make God obsolete, but makes God the only reliable place of stability in a world built on shifting sand. God’s absolutes are absolute. God’s promises are guaranteed. God’s love is unshakable. God’s reality is ever present. God’s care for you is relentless.
If you are distracted with the ‘newness’ of this world, and all its discoveries, scientific frontiers, new fangled innovations, fancy new styles, rising trends, changing laws, political tides and rising stars, just remember that this whole world is measured against a grid of
God’s reality and God’s unchanging holiness.
This is a moral universe, anchored irrevocably on God’s perfection. Everything in this universe of ours is measured against God’s unchangeableness. We can’t talk our way out of things, or twist the meaning of this or that. We must face God in all His perfection and immutability.
At the same time God will also not change His love for the people of this world and His offer of salvation to those who respond by faith in Jesus Christ. Sin will always be sin, even if governments make it lawful. Death will always be death, despite scientific advances. Judgement will always be judgement, despite all the philosophies that try to ignore it. Yet, too, Forgiveness, Salvation, Redemption, Love, Grace and Mercy will never change.
God’s promises are sure and you too can live in settled stability in a wildly changing world, when you stand close to your God, for He has said of Himself, “I Change Not!”