Weekly Devotional 3-18-19 Has God Changed His Message
Is the Bible relevant today? Many say that it is not, at least in its entirety. They hold that the Bible, as completed 2,000 plus years ago, is not up to the times, that many things have changed since its completion, but are they correct? Has the God of the Bible changed? No, He has so testified. He said through His prophet Malachi “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6). Moreover, He affirms this in Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good.”
We read from First Samuel 15:28-29 “28 So Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent.” From Isaiah 46:9-11 we read: “9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ 11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.”
And He said through the prophet Ezekiel “I, the Lord, have spoken it; It shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not hold back, Nor will I spare, Nor will I relent; According to your ways And according to your deeds They will judge you” (Ezekiel 24:14). James 1:17 also teaches the immutability of God: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning.”
Why it is impossible for God to change? The immutability of God is necessary for His perfection. If anything changes, it must change for the better or, the worse, because a change that makes no difference is not a change. For change to take place, either something that is needed is added, which is a change for the better; or something that is needed is lost, which is a change for the worse. But, since God is perfect, He does not need anything. Therefore, He cannot change for the better. If God were to lose something, He would no longer be perfect; therefore, He cannot change for the worse. Secondly, the immutability of God is related to His omniscience. When someone changes his/her mind, it is often because new information has come to light that was not previously known or because the circumstances have changed and require a different attitude or action. Because God is omniscient, He cannot learn something new that He did not already know. So, when the Bible speaks of God changing His mind, it must be understood that the circumstance or situation has changed, not God. For instance; when Exodus 32:14 and 1 Samuel 15:11-29 speak of God changing His mind, it is merely describing a change of dispensation and outward dealings toward man.
Because God is immutable (unchangeable), the Bible is as relevant today as when written and finished. God said what He meant and meant what He said.
It is not possible to understand the motives of persons who say that the Bible is not relevant today, we do not have that ability, but there are two possible underlying reasons. They are novices (unlearned), or they do not want to accept what it says. Jesus addressed this second reason in His discussion with Nicodemus. We read from the gospel of John: “19 And this is the condemn-nation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:19-21).
To this second classification of people, we again refer to the words of Jesus as he taught His disciples about the cost of discipleship. We read from Mark 8:34-37: “34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Are not those who will not accept the words of the Bible as being God’s unchanging word, being seriously foolish? What will their rejection cost them, if not their souls? God is not going to change the message of the Bible in this generation or any coming generation. His word will remain the same forever and always!
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
Scripture usage is from the NKJB