“Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them. But you are always the same; you will live forever.”
— Psalm 102:25-27 (NLT)
The Bible is a unique experience. The God of the Bible is clearly seen in time and space in human history. God clearly belonged to that world. What about this world? What about God in the here and now? Those stories of the Bible seem remote and foreign to our present experience. However, the Bible affirms that we worship the same God. The exact same God. God does not change.
What does it mean to say that God doesn’t change?
1) God’s life does not change (Psalm 93:2; 1 Tim 6:16; Psalm 90:2)
God was not made for he has always been. He exists forever, and is always the same. His life does not ebb and flow. He does not gain or lose. He does not mature or develop. He does not grow. You can improve any person or product, but God does not need to improve.
2) God’s character does not change (Exodus 3:14)
When Moses asked God for some tangible form of authority before presenting himself to the Egyptian monarchy, God told him “I AM that I AM.” He wanted Egyptians and Hebrews alike to recognize that the God who had sent Moses was the same covenant God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. God’s moral character is changeless. He doesn’t mellow. He doesn’t become cynical.
His commands, his words, his covenants, his promises are all based on his changeless character.
3) God’s way of dealing with people does not change.
How God deals with people is consistent and just. God offers no preferential treatment. He does not play favorites.
4) God’s purposes of grace and redemption do not change (1 Samuel 15:29; Numbers 23:19)
His purposes of grace and salvation do not evolve or change. His love extended to us through grace has not changed nor will it change. God initiates his acts of grace, and we respond to that grace with faith.
5) God’s expectations of his people do not change (Micah 6:8)
What God wanted then is what God wants now. He’s not interested in our offerings or our dutiful service. He’s most interested in our love and worship.
God doesn’t change. His changelessness, or “faithful consistency,” is the basis of our trust and response. We can trust God because we can count on God.
So if God doesn’t change, why does he seem so different today? In the Bible we read of his tangible presence, his working of miracles, his displays of power, and his clear communication with his people. Why don’t we see God work in those ways in our contemporary setting? Could it be that we are overstuffed, overfed, over stimulated and over compensated that we don’t need that God anymore? Sometimes people don’t even look for God until a doctor, an attorney, or a banker look at them and say those fatal six words: “We’ve done all we can do.” God has become our last resort instead of our first response!
Where is the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob? Of Moses and Joshua?
Where is the God of Elijah and Elisha? Of David and Daniel?
Where is the God of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? Of Peter and Paul?
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. But somehow, like Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, we’ve just grown up. Paul warns Timothy about the dangers of having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. Every explanation we give for the difference is basically reduced to our own genius and self sufficiency. What would happen if you began to live as though the God of the Bible is the God of today? How would your prayers change? How would your life change?