I Do Not Change!
James Smith, 1861
"I am the Lord — I do not change!" Malachi 3:6
Every created thing is liable to change.
Angels have changed — and become devils.
Man has changed — and become a sinner.
The world has changed — and lost its original beauty and excellence.
The seasons change — winter gives place to spring, spring to summer, summer to autumn, and autumn to winter again.
Our feelings change — the sad gives place to the joyous, and the joyous to the sad again.
Our circumstances change — the poor become rich, and the rich become poor.
Our relations change — some are removed by death, others to a far distance, and some become alienated from us.
All within and without us will change, and there may be greater changes than we have ever witnessed yet.
But amidst all the changes we have experienced within, or witness without — we have one unfailing source of comfort: the Lord never changes! He is the same, and will be the same forever. He is in one mind, and none can turn him. Let us then seek to be impressed with this cheering declaration made by God himself, "I am the Lord — I do not change!"
Blessed be his holy name — with him change is impossible!
Here is our rock — on which we may rest secure!
Here is one friend — on whom we may always depend!
An unchanging God, lays an unchangeable foundation for our faith, hope, and comfort. With David, therefore, amidst all the changes of life we may sing, "The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted!" What the Lord was to David — he now is to us; and what he now is — he ever will be.
There can be no change in his LOVE to his redeemed people. Other's may cease to love us, may turn against us, and even hate us — but if the Lord love us once, he loves us forever. Having loved his own that are in the world — he loves them unto the end. His love is everlasting. It is like his nature — eternal. If the Lord loves me in January — he will love me in June; and if he loves me in June — he will love me in December. The God of love, who has set his love upon us, says, "I do not change." Go back as far as we will, we shall never arrive at the beginning of his love; and go forward as far as we may, we shall never come to the end of it. The love of God is eternal love.
There can be no change in his PURPOSES.
Originating as they do in the highest wisdom,
formed as they are for the glorifying of his own nature,
comprehending as they do all our needs, and
aiming as they do at our welfare
— they are unchangeable.
According to his eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord — he arranged all things that concern his people, both on earth and in Heaven. And now he works all things, after the counsel of his own will.
All his purposes culminate in this one point — to do us the greatest good, and in so doing to get himself the greatest glory. God's purposes embrace all the days of the year, and all the events of every day in the year; and, therefore, though I know not what may take place, I know that all things shall work together for good to those who love God, and are the called according to his purpose.
There can be no change in his PROMISES to his redeemed people. The word of the Lord stands forever, and the thoughts of his heart unto all generations. God has made many exceeding great and very precious promises:
they embrace all his people,
they provide for all our needs,
they forbid all our doubts and fears,
and they secure to us all possible good.
There is a promise . . .
for every day,
to meet every trial,
to cheer every believer, and
to give us confidence under all the changes of life.
By the promises, God pledges himself to his people, and engages to . . .
supply all their needs,
conquer all their foes, and
glorify himself in all their changes.
God's promises are as immutable as his nature, for Heaven and earth may pass away — but his words shall never pass away. Man may break his word — but God cannot; man may change his mind — but God will not.
There can be no change in his RELATION to his redeemed people. Is God is my Father today — he will be my Father forever.
For me, he will ever feel a father's love;
over me, he will ever exercise a a father's care;
to deliver me, he will ever stretch out a father's hand.
Earthly parents may cease to love their children, may cease to care for their offspring, may refuse to help those who ought to be dear to them as life itself — but it can never be so with God! He asks, "Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?" He admits, "Yes, they may forget." But he adds, "Yet will I never forget you."
Correct us he may, he will, if we need it — but turn his back upon us, close his door on us, or shut up his heart against us — he never will!
There can be no change in his SYMPATHY. Through Jesus, God has a fellow feeling with his people; he is touched with a sense of their infirmities; in all their afflictions, he is afflicted. His heart throbs in unison with theirs. He ever makes their bed in their sickness.
He is full of compassion.
He is plenteous in mercy.
He is ready to forgive.
He waits to be gracious.
Let who will, become hardened against us — let who will, fail to sympathize with us — the Lord never will. "We may therefore rejoice in the prospect of all the changes that may take place in the future, and say, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear!"
Does the Lord say to us, "I do not change!" Then he encourages us to trust him with an unshaken confidence. We may trust him at all times. We may trust him with what we value most. We may trust him to make good in our experience, every promise in his word. However the dispensations of his providence may change — he will remain the same, in his love, purposes, and sympathy to us. Therefore we may say with Job, "Though he slays me — yet will I trust in him." Let us endeavor to exercise a full, steady, and constant trust in the Lord from day to day, remembering that, "those who trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed — but abides forever!"
Does the Lord say to us, "I do not change!" Then we may go to him in all our trials, difficulties, and troubles! We may pour out our hearts before him, plead his precious promises, and expect answers of peace from him. He who heard and answered Jacob — will hear and answer us. He who listened to David and delivered him — will listen to and deliver us. He who appeared for Israel in the desert as their circumstances required — will appear for us as ours may require. Abraham's God is ours, and he will be to us what he was to Abraham — even our shield, and our exceeding great reward.
Does the Lord say to us, "I do not change!" Then let us rejoice and be glad, for God's immutability will be . . .
the ground of our security,
the source of our comfort, and
the foundation of our peace.
What shall we fear — with God, the unchangeable God on our side? Of whom shall we be afraid — with the omnipotent and immutable Jehovah, to take our part? Beloved, let us anew surrender ourselves to God, exercising confidence in God, and engaging to work for God.
Lost sinner, if God will not change — then you must, or your end will be fearful. He has said, "The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God." You are either wicked — or righteous, depraved — or holy; if the former, your doom is dreadful, except you repent. Change — God will not; change — you must, or . . .
die without mercy,
perish without pity, and
be punished without end!
O come to Jesus, and obtain pardon, peace, and everlasting life!