The Unchanging God

God’s Unchangeable Nature

Malachi 3:1-6.

“For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore, O sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

 

            Malachi 3:6 is a critical statement in our understanding of God’s character.  In this verse, we find an affirmation of the immutability of God.  When we speak of the immutability of God, we are referring to the biblical doctrine that God does not change in his nature, purposes, or promises.  The word in Hebrew for change comes from the word which means to be different and refers to the changes of the seasons.  This is one of the aspects of the nature of God that is difficult for us to grasp since we are constantly changing as individuals.  I am not the same person that I was when I was twenty.  Not only have I changed physically, but I have changed my perspective and outlook in life.  My character, values, and morals have changed over the year.  But this is not the case with God.  Because he is perfect, he does not change his being and character, and because he is all-knowing, there is no need to change his purposes and plans.  

            However, in the context of this statement, we find both a comfort and a warning.  In verse 5, God warns of judgment upon those who distort his law.  To commit idolatry, immorality or to mistreat others and distort justice is to face the judgment and wrath of God because his moral standards do not change. After all, his character does not change.  This is why we cannot reject and alter God’s moral law, as scripture reveals.  The moral standard he established in the past and displayed in his word is still valid and accurate today because he has not changed.  Just as he judged sin in the past, he will judge sin in the future.

            It also provides comfort.  Because of his unchanging nature, God will remain faithful to his covenant with Israel.  Even though he brought judgment upon their sin, he has not reneged on the covenant he made with Abraham that he would establish Israel as a permanent nation and that he would be their God.  Just as his moral law has not changed, nor has his redemptive purpose not changed. 

            We live in a world that is radically shifting. Wrong is now celebrated as right, and what is morally right is condemned as wrong.   Modesty is ridiculed, and immodesty and nudity are celebrated as empowering and liberating. Like the world of Alice in Wonderland, everything has been turned upside down. So where do we find moral certainty in a morally ambiguous culture?  The answer lies in the unchanging nature of God.  The moral teaching of Scripture is still the bedrock of our moral foundation, for God does not change; therefore, his morality does not change.  In an age of moral confusion, we need only look to God's moral character to find moral certainty.  Instead of looking to our world and culture for truth, we need to turn to the pages of scripture.

            We also find our security in the unchanging God in a world of uncertainty and fear.  Just as his moral law remains faithful and constant, his promises remain true.  We can rest in the securities of scripture because God does not change.  When He promised to forgive, restore, and renew those seeking him, that promise is still valid for us today because He does not change.  When we read the Bible and see his promises to those who trust him, we have hope and confidence that he will fulfill those promises. He is the unchanging God who remains faithful to every promise he has made.  

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