An Unchanging God in Changing Times
(This article was written by Paul Marais.)
It seems like only yesterday when we would gather together on campus to study our degrees and do group projects. It seems like one day it was business as normal and the next every social interaction was over Zoom. How could things change so quickly, and what about God? Is He absent or has He changed too?
Well the Bible tells us that God doesn’t change. In fact we describe this unchanging nature of God by the word immutability. This doesn’t mean God is a statue that is cold, far off and uncaring. What it does mean is that He is unchanging in His essence, attributes and purpose. The Bible shows a loving father who sends His Son to save humanity; a Son who willingly goes to the cross to pay for sins; and a Spirit that brings people to the Son and the Father for their salvation. This shows not a statue but a God of deep love for people.
As we look at the world around us everything changes. Trees grow and fall, families have kids and lose grandparents, but God never changes. God's being never changes. His essence is eternal. But how can this be?
‘Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:2.
Here the Bible tells us one of the reasons why God never changes; He is before creation. God is not only before creation but is also our creator. This is why He is spoken of as ‘from everlasting to everlasting’ in Psalm 90:2. He is the one eternal being in the world. His essence is outside of time. The phrase ‘from everlasting to everlasting’ teaches us that God existed from as far back as you want to go and will exist as far forward in time as you want to travel. You could say from eternity past to eternity future He is God. He has no beginning and will have no end. The world may fade and age, but God doesn’t. He is the one eternal God. We can trust that God will be there for us just as much today and into the future as in the eternity past.
But just because I know that God is there doesn’t mean that He cares for me. How can we know that God still cares for us today?
“And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17.
We have established that God’s being is eternal, that is what the first part of the verse is talking about, but look at the second part, “and in him all things hold together.” Speaking of Jesus, Paul tells us that Jesus is the one sustaining the world. Jesus keeps the world running, keeps the earth spinning, the sun burning and us breathing.
“and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:20.
Here Paul tells us that Jesus is reconciling all things to Himself. Through the work of the cross God is bringing the whole world to Jesus. The purpose of the cross is deeply personal, yet is set out from before creation (Eph 1:4). God’s eternal purpose is unchanging, never wavering and will be accomplished.
Our God is unchanging and this should comfort us. We can trust him as He never changes or fails. His promise is fulfilled and His purpose is unchanged. Put your trust in this. Everything else will change, but “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8.