Summary: Discover what difference God’s unchanging nature, His goodness and His nearness makes in our lives
This morning, we conclude our study of what is God like? We are not saying that we will have a full understanding of what God is like, but we at least have a better understanding of what the Bible, God’s own revelation, says about what He is like.
Someone tells about a dyslexic insomniac staying awake all night wondering if there is a dog. I’m not trying to make fun of those with dyslexia or insomnia, but the truth is, all of us at one time or another wonder if there really is a God. Sometimes we wish there weren’t, so that we can be our own god, doing as we please. Other times, we wish there were a god, because we’ve tried everything else, and we still can’t make sense or meaning out of life.
Before we begin our last message on what is God like, let me propose to you that there really is God, and that He can be known. Darwin speculated about the origin of species, but the Bible declares the origin of all there is in the first sentence, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1)."
If all that we have and are is the result of an infinite series of cause and effect, there still must be a first Cause, namely God. Something does not come from nothing. Furthermore, we live in a world where complex design runs through and through. Such design presupposes an intelligent Designer, namely God.
There are also experiential reasons for believing in God. If a handful of people told you that eating watermelon prevents cancer, you would be right to doubt. But if more than 4 billion people tell you that eating watermelon prevents cancer, wouldn’t you think there was some validity. Now the watermelon illustration isn’t true, but there are more than 4 billion people in this world agreeing that there is a God. And more than 2 billion of these people would tell you that God came in the form of man, Jesus Christ.
Finally, if there is not a God, then there is no absolute value. In other words, Hitler could be right and Mother Teresa could be wrong. It all depends on your civilization and your cultural values. But because there is a God, killing innocent people is wrong, and helping the poor and dying is right. Universal and absolute values point to the reality of the Value-giver, namely God.
All this being said, the only assurance we have of knowing God is not our intellect but God’s promise, when He said, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13)." So if you’re seeking a relationship with God, you will find Him. That’s His promise to each of us.
In the remaining time, I want to cover the last three attributes from our list of nine attributes of God.
The first attribute we will look at this morning is the attribute of God is immutable. When theologians say that God is immutable, they mean that God does not change. Since God is perfect in His being and wisdom, He does not need to change Himself or His mind. God also does not decay or die. Let’s look at some verses in the Bible to help us understand God’s immutability.
Numbers 23:19 states, "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" What God says He will do, He will.
God speaks through Malachi 3:6-7, "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you." God is clarifying that it only looks like He has changed, but it is really we who have changed.
Hebrews 6:16-17 reads, "Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath."
James 1:17 tells us, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." God does not believe in situational ethics. He is the same at all times and places.
Before we talk about what difference does God’s immutability make in our lives, I want to address the question, "Why are there passages in the Bible that suggest God has changed His mind?"
Someone gave the example, "If you were riding a bike against the wind, and then you stopped and turned around, you might think that the wind changed. After all, the wind went from working against you to helping you. In actuality the wind didn’t change, you did."