Do you ever encounter people who feel like God let them down; that somehow He failed? Perhaps you can think of a time when you followed God’s perceived will only to be disappointed by unfavorable circumstances. Yet, if God is unreliable then it follows that He cannot be trusted. If this is so, how can we go after Him with any degree of confidence? If we are to have faith in Him, it must be anchored in the truth that He is immutable. A.W. Pink provides three lessons from Scripture on this unique attribute of God.
Numbers 23:19—God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?
First, we should understand that God’s essence is unchanging. The Bible describes Him as a Rock (Deu. 32:4; Psa. 92:15). James 1:17 declares, “with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.” The prophet Malachi shares God’s answer on why the Israelites had not been destroyed, “Because I, Yahweh, have not changed” (Mal. 3:6).
Second, God’s innate qualities do not vary. All 66 books of the Bible combine to teach that His power, wisdom, holiness, integrity, love and mercy endure forever. The author of Psalm 136 stated 26 times, “His love is eternal.” Jude, the brother of Jesus, proclaimed, “to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen” (Jude 26).
Third, God’s counsel is permanent. Samuel reminded King Saul, “the Eternal One of Israel does not lie or change His mind, for He is not man who changes his mind” (1 Sa. 15:29). Psalm 33:11 says, “The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation.” How then do we make sense of Exodus 32:14? “So the LORD relented concerning the disaster He said He would bring on His people.” God may alter His course of action without violating the fulfillment of His overall purpose. Because Moses prayed, God spared those targeted for elimination! If this doesn’t underscore the importance of prayer what does?
Beware of judging God’s permanence through temporary lens. Jesus said in Matthew 5:5, “The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth.” So we act kindly yet we are treated like earth’s doormat. We interpret our abuse as God abandoning His Son’s promise—not recognizing the eternal reward. God’s essence is not validated by my full belly or your fat wallet. Nor should we find it suspect when evil embracers break our hearts and the clouds above us won’t stop raining.
A.W. Pink taught, “God cannot change for the better, for He is perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.” Charles Spurgeon said, “Immutability means that God is not subject to change through time or circumstances.” He is unchanging so that we can change! Only when we set our hearts on the certainty that God is changeless do we begin to see Him as He is—awesome. Before His immutable grandeur we find constancy.
©2013 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)