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Our Never-Changing, Ever-Changing God

park_057.jpg“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8

“You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing on.” So said the ancient philosopher, Heraclitus. Change is inevitable, unavoidable. We see change when we go back and look at the old neighborhood; when we run into old friends; when we look at an old yearbook; every time we look at ourselves in the mirror. We fight it, delay it, rename it, hate it, love it, curse it, bless it, but we can’t deny it. We have learned to live with change. It extends from the very basic ways that we eat, sleep, work, play and live our lives to the mysterious and incomprehensible realms of science and academia.

We ascribe fancy names to change. Anthropologists call it acculturation. To biologists, it’s metamorphosis. To civil engineers, it’s innovation. Corporate architects call it re-engineering. Chemists call it reaction. Nearly all of the leadership books in my library refer to change. Some have change as their entire theme. One is entitled, Leadership and the Customer Revolution: The Messy, Unpredictable, and Inescapably Human Challenge of Making the Rhetoric of Change a Reality.

God is the one constant in a universe of change.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I change not.” This is the immutability of God. “God is eternally the same in His essence, in the mode of His existence, in His perfections, and in the principles of His administration. This attribute is essential to deity. To think of God otherwise than as unchangeable is to think of Him otherwise than as perfect.” New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Today, we take this as a given, but to those who heard this for the first time, it constituted a powerful truth. In fact, man’s experience had been one gigantic upheaval of change. For starters, the world had known paradise, and then lost it. Mankind had enjoyed a sinless state, and sinned it away. Cain introduced murder into the world, and wickedness increased exponentially. Sin’s magnitude became so great that God tore up his own ecosystem. It rained when it had never rained before; it flooded when it had never flooded before. And that’s not even scratching the surface. If your house was only as sure as the next army coming over the mountain; if your family was only together until the next empire carted them off to slavery; if your crops were only yours until the next marauders invaded; if your life was only secure as the next king on a shifting throne; then it would mean something to know that God says, “I am God and I change not!”

God is a never-changing, yet, an ever-changing God!

These are not contradictory statements. The never-changing attribute of God has to do with his character. The ever-changing aspect of God has to do with his personal revelation. He is objective in the former, and subjective in the latter. His righteousness banished Adam and Eve from Eden ; his grace made coats of skins to cover them up. His holiness condemned Israel for its national sins; his mercy accepted the sprinkling of blood to atone for its sins to satisfy his holiness. Neither aspect changes, but both aspects coalesce into redemption and relationship between man and God.

God becomes whatever he needs to be at any point in time. Look at Moses. He needed God as a baby, in Pharaoh’s palace, when he slew the Egyptian, on the backside of the desert, when he went before Pharaoh, when he led the people out of Egypt , when he fought the Amalekites, when he saw Aaron and the people around the golden calf, and when he judged Israel . Whenever and however he needed God, God revealed himself. Look at Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego. (Daniel 3:16-30) Although they prayed to be kept from the fiery furnace, God showed up as the fourth man in the furnace, thus revealing himself as never before.

The God who never changes always changes into the answer for a specific problem. He will be your healer, savior, deliverer, counselor, advisor, comforter, peacemaker, joy giver, burden bearer and prayer answerer. Whether young or old, in school or out, working or laid off, debt free or paying bills, sick or well, single or married, children or childless, struggling or arrived, God changes into whatever you need him to be. If you trust in his never-changing nature, he will supply you with his ever-changing presence and power. If you make him the constant in your life, he will be the tailor-made answer to every situation.

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