The Immutability of God

April 23, 2013


The WTC towers are gone. Enron is gone as well as the accounting firm that handled their accounts. Consolidated Freight is bankrupt and many other old well known companies are in similar danger.  Stocks are volatile. Many IRAs are nearly worthless. Many have lost their jobs overnight. The world is full of change. Nothing seems secure or stable anymore. There doesn’t seem to be anyone to trust anymore. There is someone we can always trust and can give us stability in this age or rapid change and insanity. His name is God and Jesus Christ is His Son whom He sent to save us from our sin and ourselves. He has also given the Holy Spirit to help us pray when we do not know what to say when disaster or chaos enters our life. He has been the same from eternity past and will be the same throughout all eternity. He changes not and in theological circles this is known as the immutability of God.

Deut 9:1-29
1 Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven,
2 A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!
3 Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.
4 Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.
5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
6 Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.
7 Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD.
8 Also in Horeb ye provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry with you to have destroyed you.
9 When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water:
10 And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.
11 And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant.
12 And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image.
13 Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
14 Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they.
15 So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands.
16 And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the LORD your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had commanded you.
17 And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and brake them before your eyes.
18 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also.
20 And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time.
21 And I took your sin, the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount.
22 And at Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibroth-hatta’avah, ye provoked the LORD to wrath.
23 Likewise when the LORD sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you; then ye rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and ye believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice.
24 Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.
25 Thus I fell down before the LORD forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the LORD had said he would destroy you.
26 I prayed therefore unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
27 Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin:
28 Lest the land whence thou broughtest us out say, Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he hath brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.
29 Yet they are thy people and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest out by thy mighty power and by thy stretched out arm. (KJV)

Contextually, we see Moses briefing and preparing the people to cross over Jordan and possess the land after forty years of wandering in the wilderness. This passage is pregnant with theological truths and could be dealt with in several ways but we shall contain ourselves to the aspect of God’s immutability.
The children of Israel needed to know where they stood with God. Since His punishment of their sin, were all the promises void and new directives to be drawn up? Could they rest in worship of Jehovah or should they dwell in the land under continual fear that all promises and laws would be revoked and they would be utterly destroyed?
We can easily see that this is not the case at all, for Moses tells them that the very reason they are about to enter the land is not because of their righteousness (vs. 5). Oh, not at all, but such as is so often the case as the father is, so is the son! I believe that Moses knew that these people were of the same character as their forefathers. So that while he is rehearsing history he is not only calling the forefathers stiffnecked and using the “you” in a federal sense but also in a present application (vs. 6).
What then is the reason that they are allowed to enter into the land in spite of their character? The very character of God, Himself! He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that their seed would enter the land and He could not change His mind and alter that promise in any way!
I believe that verse 13 and following were not only a test for Moses but God is giving us a picture of the preciseness that His immutability demands and the greatness of our security in His promises! God had told Moses in verse 14 that Moses was to leave Him alone, that His wrath may grow and that He would consume Israel and make a nation of Moses. It sounds good, but could God have done it without damage to His character? No, but God wanted to see how well Moses really knew Him and where Moses had his priorities.
We can rejoice that Moses knew His God! He knew how to entreat Him. He approached God through His promises and His character. He did not approach Him with his righteousness or his character for he was no better off than Israel in those aspects. But, he knew where the power was to be found (vs. 27-29)
God had promised that Jacob’s seed would enter the land. Jacob had twelve sons not just one! True, if God would have made a nation of Moses there would have been a seed of Jacob but not the seed of Jacob. Where would have been the tribe of Judah from whom the ruler was to come? What about the tribe of Benjamin? There would not have been a King David and the messianic line would have been destroyed! No, God’s promise could not be broken! It would have been against His character and His eternal plans!
His testimony among the heathen would have been destroyed! God brought out a people and promised them a land and changed His mind! Why, could He not finish the job? Could He not be trusted? You see He could not change His mind if He would and would not if He could! He keeps His promises by His power and character!
Applying this to us, we have to say that man’s greatest need is stability and security! We must have something that is unchangeable to have these. There is nothing else eternally unchanging but God Himself and His Word! He is the hope of the lost, the saved and the scared!
The lost can rest in the promise that if they call upon Him they shall be saved! That message will never change because the God who gave it never changes! (Romans 10:13)
The saved can rest in the promise that all things work together for good to them who love Him and are called according to His purpose because the God who made it is unchanging. (Romans 8:28)
The scared can rest in two promises of God depending on the source of their fear because the God who made them is unchanging and He cannot deny Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (KJV)

Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (KJV)

May the glory of His immutability bring rest to your soul and victory in your life!

Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (KJV)

Hallelujah! Maranatha!!!

 

http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/the-immutability-of-god-dr-ronald-shultz-sermon-on-gods-omniscience-50111.asp

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