Does God change over time?

Change is a phenomenon that has affected all of us at some time or other, Covid being a recent reminder of change! 

One thing that must be emphasized is that if we want to know about God, the only source that is reliable is the Bible, His Word, anything else is conjecture and must be regarded carefully. 

It is quite clear that God is eternal and everlasting. 

When the natural world is carefully observed it is obvious that there has to be a designer with a purpose. That purpose is explained only in the Bible. 

The man after God’s own heart recorded these words for us: “But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end” (Psalm 102:27 KJV); “The counsel of the LORD stands for ever, the plans of His heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11 ESV); and “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations” (Psalm 145:13 KJV). You will be fascinated with the connections when you read the whole of these Psalms, there are many evidences of God’s consistency. 

About 400 years before Christ, when the Israelites had returned from 70 years exile in Babylon the prophet Malachi recorded these words, from God, “For I the LORD change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6 KJV). 

In the New Testament the following thoughts are revealed, “But thou art the same” (Hebrews 1:12), a quotation regarding the Creator of the earth and heavens. Then James says this about God, “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 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 1:16-17 NIV). All these quotations agree with what was revealed in the Old Testament. God does not change. 

A God who doesn’t change must be a consistent God and it is to be expected that there would be a consistent theme in His Word. When we turn to Genesis chapters 1 and 2 there is developed a plan whereby God wants to dwell with humans and wants humans to dwell with Him. This theme is developed in Genesis 17 and expounded through all the prophets in the Old Testament, but it is clear what happened in Genesis 3, that humans wanted their own way, not God’s. This did not change God’s plan, but it changed human plans drastically! 

Recently we have experienced great changes in society as a result of Covid and seen how people are prepared to trust solely in what humanity can do to cure the problem. However, God’s health laws of sanitation and isolation in the book of Leviticus (over 3000 years ago!) are still valid today. God wants us to put our faith and trust in Him. He has a plan. 

Consider a simple point: the sun rises every day, because God set it up that way. He says so. This is a covenant that God made in Genesis chapter 1 and it has not failed since then. Read Jeremiah chapter 33, all of it, and see how consistent God is. Now returning to our thoughts on the sun rising look at verses 19-20 “and the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah saying, Thus saith the LORD; If you can break my covenant of the day and my covenant of the night and that there should not be day and night in their season then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne” (see Luke 1:30-33). And 6000 years later this still holds true. 

It was mentioned earlier that God wants to live with us and we should want to live with Him. In 1927 at the Wembley F.A. cup final the musician played a famous hymn that was composed in 1847 by Henry Francis Lyte which delighted the crowd and they all sang heartily. Among the crowd was King George V who also joined in the singing, thereby starting a football tradition at the cup final games as well as many other times and in many churches. The hymn was “Abide with me”; an appeal for God to live with us and help us in all circumstances, but the second verse reads like this, listen to it:

“Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;

Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;

Change and decay in all around I see;

O Thou who changest not, abide with me.” 

There are other hymns that have this important characteristic of God’s unchangeableness as many Christian churches have realized. 

“Our soul waiteth for the LORD, He is our help and our shield, for our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in his holy name, Let thy mercy, O LORD be upon us according as we have trusted in thee.” 

Psalm 33:20-22 

Article by Cliff. Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash.

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