After preaching on the unchanging nature of God on Sunday, it’s not surprising that I am still meditating on that great attribute of God’s nature. Two songs I’ve been listening to recently also focus on the immutability of God. One looks at the fact that God is constant and faithful and never changes (see Malachi 3:6); another looks at the unchanging love of God.
‘From the darkest night to the brightest day
Constant You remain
Every single breath to my dying day…
Constant and faithful, You never change…’ (‘The Constant’, Al Gordon & Ben Cantelon)
‘The Constant’, Al Gordon & Ben Cantelon
“My God, You are the unchanging love.
My God, Your heart sends hope from above,
The great Creator, beautiful Saviour,
I’ve been redeemed.
There is life now from Your victory.
You are my God.
You are my God.”(‘My God’, Jeremy Camp)
‘My God’, Jeremy Camp
The Westminster Shorter Catechism says, ’God is a spirit, whose being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth are infinite, eternal, and unchangeable.” As we discussed on Sunday, God has no beginning and no end, unlike His creation:
“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” (Ps 102:25-27)
The fact that God is unchangeable offers us one of the greatest insights into the differences between mankind and God: “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.” (1 Sam 15:29) We are often changing our minds (especially women, apparently!), but God’s plans and purposes are fixed: “People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb 6:16-19)
God’s immutability defines all His other attributes: He is immutably wise, He cannot help but be merciful, good, and gracious. “The same may be said about His knowledge: God does not need to gain knowledge; He knows all things, eternally and immutably so. Infiniteness and immutability in God are mutually supportive and imply each other. An infinite and changing God is inconceivable; indeed it is a contradiction in definition.” (quoted from article on Immutability)
Plenty for us to think about!