My oldest son is about to graduate from high school and go to college. My youngest son just got his driver’s permit. I do not like it at all. I’d rather they were six years old and stayed that way. They were cute and naive and unquestioning back then. But now they are young men with their own dreams and hopes, and they are eager to get to the next stage of life. I’m immensely proud of them, but I’m really not at all sure I approve of this growing-up business. But it’s a fact of life. Things change. People age. Children mature. Where once they depended for every decision on my wife and me, now they have minds of their own, and all too soon they will be living in homes of their own with families of their own.
Time’s arrow flies. And not a few of us know its piercing wound. We’d like to freeze the moment, like Peter who wanted to prolong the glorious encounter on the Mount of Transfiguration, preserving it like a bug stuck in amber. We want to keep our loved ones close and healthy and happy, as they were in that now long-cherished memory. We grieve over decline and decay. Our bodies don’t work as once they did. Outwardly, we are fading away.
We praise God, amid flux and change, that He is immutable. He does not change. Numbers 23:19 says: “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” When even the best of human beings cannot deliver on their promises—time runs out, after all; power ebbs away; change is inevitable—God’s promises stand firm and sure. They are unshakable because the One who has promised is unchanging. Malachi 3:6 says, “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” What is the anchor of our confidence for salvation? Why are we not consumed? It’s not that we are wise enough, strong enough, or good enough to escape the wrath to come. It is that God is unchanging. He will not revoke His covenant commitment to save a people for Himself by the blood of His Son. Having sent Him to the cross for us, He will not now dismiss His Son’s perfect work on our behalf on a whim. God is not fickle. He who ordained our redemption and provided our redemption secures and guarantees our redemption. He does not change. We are not consumed. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” The good giver of good gifts can be trusted.
Temptation and sin arise from the wicked desires of the rebel heart (James 1:13–15), but good gifts come from the unchangeably good God. The immutability of God, His unchangeability, is a refuge for sin-sick and world-weary souls. Jesus is the perfect mirror of divine immutability, wedded to unchanging grace. He who loved us and gave Himself for us is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).