Oh, it says He’s so quite clearly in the Bible:
- “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” – Malachi 3:6
- “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17
But if that’s the case, why does the New Testament God seem so much nicer than the Old Testament God? So much more patient and forgiving?
How can the God who prescribed in meticulous, exhaustive and repetitive detail how humans should dress, eat, worship and snuggle in the first five books of the Old Testament be the same God who dispenses once and for all with legalism in the first four books of the New?
How can the God who smote Sodom and Gomorrah for their sinfulness let these cities’ modern-day equivalents go on with their wicked ways? How can the God who sent the flood to destroy humanity (other than Noah and his family) in Genesis, also be the same God who sent Jesus to save humanity in the Gospels – if He’s unchanging?
It sure seems like He changed his mind regarding the best way to deal with His wayward children – and thank God for that! I’d rather be under His New Testament mercy and grace than His Old Testament wrath. But is there a risk He’ll change it again?
“And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” – Hebrews 10:10
Whether it was His plan all along or not, the Bible declares clearly and definitively that the Cross changed our spiritual landscape forever. And unchanging or not, we know He keeps His promises. (We haven’t had any great floods lately, have we?)
Therefore, if any of the Bible means anything, the Cross means everything.
That’s a relief.
In that case, the question of whether God is genuinely unchanging or not is largely academic – but it still nags at me. I like for things to make sense. But this is probably one of those areas where I need to put my desire to understand in the back seat and let my need to trust and believe in the driver’s seat.
That doesn’t mean it’s wrong for me to want to understand or try to understand, as long as I’m OK with the reality that on this side of Heaven, I never will.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” – Isaiah 40:28
Peace be with you.