People change. They are fickle like the weather and predictably unpredictable. Two people pledge to be faithful to each other until death yet divorce. Companies promise employees pensions but if they go out of business the hope of a secure future is dashed. Governments make pledges to their citizens yet renege when circumstances turn unfavorable, newly elected officials reverse policies, or whole administrations are overthrown. My assertion that people change is believable because you change and you’ve seen others change.
But how can I type that God does not change? How can I state that His nature is pure; that when He gives His word He keeps it; and, that His attributes are unblemished by error? My mutability casts doubt on the permanence of anything I suggest. If I recommend you believe the Bible when it asserts that God is immutable, you rightly can respond that the book was written by people. Eventually, you and I must test Scripture and reach our own conclusion if God inspired its writers. His permanence for us can only rest on trust—unchanging faith. If He is not immutable, we have great reason to fear!
Scripture teaches that Abraham received the following promise from God. “I will keep My covenantbetween Me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenantto be your God and the [God] of your offspring after you” (Genesis 17:7). Countless times, the children of Abraham broke God’s covenant by chasing after other gods. Repeatedly He punished them and the wicked nations that surrounded them. Yet, at no time did He break His promise.
Malachi 3:6—"Because I, Yahweh, have not changed, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed.
The Old Testament’s depiction of God constantly judging and punishing Israel is in stark contrast to the loving manner He is portrayed in the New Testament. For this and many other reasons, people accuse Him of changing and therefore do not trust Him. But we should understand that His promise to Abraham was modified and expanded not because He changed His mind but because His chosen people so frequently refused to follow Him! In Hebrews 8:7-10 we read:
For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, no opportunity would have been sought for a second one. But finding fault with His people, He says: “Look, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. Because they did not continue in My covenant, I disregarded them,” says the Lord. “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord: “I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.”
In Ephesians 2:12,13 we learn that God kept His word to Abraham’s descendants, and further provided through Jesus a promise for all people! “At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, with no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.” The angry God who punished a rebellious people was truly a loving God unwilling to eradicate them (and us) from the face of the earth! “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). That same Son, promised, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
To question and ultimately reject God’s permanence and with that His offer and ability to deliver to us eternal life, is to put our faith in what is temporary. We trust the untrustable and decay to meaningless. Only an unchanging Father could offer an unchanging Son to bring salvation to a changing people. All other solutions rest on no permanent solution.
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)