In these days of stay-at-home orders and quarantines, there have been a good many blogs and social media posts on how believers can still work hard and use their time well. And rightly so (2 Thessalonians 3:6-12)! A hearty yes and amen! Some of us are tempted to idleness and...
God’s immutability is a wonderful attribute. What is immutability? In a 2014 Banner of Truth article, Geoff Thomas explains,
God is perpetually the same. He never changes. His being, and nature, and perfections can’t be altered. Nothing can be added to the infinite God and nothing can be taken from him. What God is today he always was. What God is today he shall always be.
In sum, God is always God. And He is the only being that is this way. You and I are always changing, growing, moving, and developing, but God is what He is. Herman Bavinck wisely wrote, “God alone is absolute being, the ‘I will be who I will be,’ but all creatures… are subject to the law of becoming” (82).
Implied in this “law of becoming” is unknowing and uncertainty. What will our lives hold?
As we approach the new year, perhaps we face this question more directly. If this is a daunting question for you like it is for me, then join me in meditating on these three Bible verses on the immutability of God.
1.) Psalm 106:25–27
Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you [God] will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
I find a lot of comfort in this verse because it reminds me that nothing is as permanent as God. Although the world I live in may be hectic, painful, and confusing, it will pass away. God alone will remain.
It’s not enough to know that the earth will pass away, for if everything were to just end then life would be pointless. The struggle would be fruitless. But God remains the same in the end as He was in the beginning.
The application here, partially, is that faith in and worship of Jesus Christ brings stability to our lives. He is the only thing that will never change. So if you are looking for stability this season, look to Jesus!
2.) Isaiah 46:9–10
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, “My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose.”
This is one of my favorite verses for several reasons. One reason is that God promises His counsel shall stand, and that He will accomplish His purpose. God is good not only because He does not change but also because He never fails. That’s part of God’s immutability; He always accomplishes His purpose.
Another reason is that God highlights something He can do that no one else can do: God declared the end of time from the beginning of time.
When we experience failures or uncertainties in our life, we can be comforted by Christ, because we are in Christ, and He never fails and He is always certain.
Prediction and Declaration
I’m a baseball fan, and I enjoy guessing who will win the championship. In fact, I like guessing who will win each division, who will win each playoff series, and who will win the World Series. I shared my picks with my wife back in February, and guess how I did? Terrible! I predicted the Chicago Cubs would beat the New York Yankees—but Chicago didn’t even make the playoffs!
Had I been right, I could have said, “I declared the end of the season from the beginning of the season.” That would have been a nice guess, and it would have certainly increased my credibility as a baseball thinker.
God, however, isn’t predicting something eight months away, He is declaring the end of all things from the beginning of all things. And my baseball prediction was just a guess—it had no bearing on reality. What God is doing is not prediction, it’s declaration. He isn’t saying, “Look at how perceptive I am into the way the world works.” He is saying, “I will do this.”
God does not predict the end from the beginning; God is “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 21:6; 22:13).
3.) James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
It is good to remember that everything good comes from God. The source of good gifts never changes. So, when you are stuck in a period of uncertainty and unknowing, if you receive a good gift—a new friend, an encouragement—you know it’s from God and He is with you.
The other thing to mention is that giving good gifts is a part of God’s nature, and therefore a part of His immutability. He does not waver in His nature, and His nature is that of a “Father” who “give[s] good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11).
When you are facing an unknown future, ask God for His help! It is His promise to His children that He will give good gifts. You can have peace knowing that God will do this and that what He will do will be a good thing.
Other Verses to Read?
This article just had enough space to talk about three verses from the Bible on God’s unchanging nature. But there are plenty more! What verses do you often revisit when you need to be reminded of God’s immutability?
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season, full of rich biblical meditation on who God is and what He has done for you.