January 28, 2024. Sermon Title: God: His Immutability and Eternity

First Mennonite Church

January 28, 2024

God: His Immutability and Eternity

We know how it goes with technology. Shortly after we get the latest version of a cell phone or computer, there comes another with longer battery life or faster processors, better security protection, and so on. Regardless of their “groundbreaking” innovation claims, our gadgets require software upgrades very often, and even so, they soon become obsolete. If it is books, they need revisions and come in new editions.

Things change with the passing of time, and oftentimes the change is not for the better. And that, we know it personally.

The other day I was coming out of the grocery store and someone greeted me by my name, “Hi Pastor, how are you doing?” “O, just fine,” I replied. To my relief, he seemed a bit in a hurry, thus the encounter was very brief. Up to this day, I do not know who that gentleman was. It is embarrassing not to remember the names of people you should know and who know you. We also change, with the passing of time.

But what about God? What does the Bible tell us? Let me read to you only three references in the Bible where it speaks about God’s immutability—that is the unchanging nature of God.

The first is in Numbers

19 God is not human, that he should lie,
    not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
    Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19).

The second is in Psalm 102, verses

18 Let this be written for a future generation,
    that a people not yet created may praise the Lord:
19 “The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high,
    from heaven he viewed the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners
    and release those condemned to death.”
21 So the name of the Lord will be declared in Zion
    and his praise in Jerusalem
22 when the peoples and the kingdoms
    assemble to worship the Lord.

23 In the course of my life he broke my strength;
    he cut short my days.
24 So I said:
“Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
    your years go on through all generations.

25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
    and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.

The third is in Malachi 3:6

“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed (Malachi 3:6).

In what sense does the Bible present God as never-changing? First God’s character never changes. That is at the heart of the passage in Numbers. God does not lie. In the words of the apostle James, there is no variation in God, like the flickering light of a candle. He never breaks his promise. He fulfills what he says. God does not have the need to improve because he is perfect. By his very nature, everything about our God is perfect, his plans, his word, and his works. God never has the need to enhance his character to the slightest degree. God cannot alter from better to worse or vice versa, otherwise he would not be God. That permanence in the character of God is also revealed in Christ. Hebrews 13, verse 8, reads: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. The beauty, compassion, mercy, faithfulness, majesty, power, and eternity of God are from eternity to eternity.

In Malachi, three, verse six, the Lord declares to Israel, “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed (Malachi 3:6).

But what does this all that mean for us? Why does the Bible or even the Lord God have to remind us that He is immutable? It is only to remind us humans of our problem with double-heartedness? Is it only to set himself apart and to remind us of his superiority?


You see, every time the Bible speaks about the character, goodness, power, and glory of God, it is always in reference to what he offers or does for his people.

In the case of our first text in Number, the statement that God is not human, therefore he cannot lie nor change his mind is, in reference to God’s faithfulness to protect his recently established people in the Promised Land. The prophet Balaam was hired by Balak, the Moabite king to curse Israel because it posed a serious threat to Balak’s kingdom. The prophet had warned Balak that he could only say what the Lord told him to do. And, God tells Balak through the prophet that he has blessed his people and cannot change his mind.

My dear brothers and sisters, whatever the Lord declares we can rest assured that he will fulfill it. When God promises to be with us through thick and thin, he will do. When Jesus said, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” it means there is nowhere we would go that he will not be there with us. It means there is no situation where he will abandon us. The Lord will not change his mind on this promise. He will do what he says.

In Psalms 102, the psalmist seems to be going through a life-threatening situation.      

For my days vanish like smoke;
    my bones burn like glowing embers.
My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
    I forget to eat my food.
In my distress I groan aloud
    and am reduced to skin and bones.

For I eat ashes as my food
    and mingle my drink with tears

11 My days are like the evening shadow;
    I wither away like grass.

12 But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever;

Knowing that God is eternal, the psalmist pleads with God to spare his life. The psalmist knows that Yahweh is the giver of life and that God has a track record of preserving life. The psalmist knows that despite the brevity of human life, God is passionate about the well-being of every person.

God’s love and desire to give and save our lives has not changed when he said through the prophet Ezekiel:

For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! (Ezekiel 18:32).

That very same desire of God was reiterated by Jesus when he said.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:16-17).

The apostle Peter also gives witness of God’s love through Jesus Christ, when he states: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9).

The cross of Christ is proof to God’s unchangeable nature, especially when it comes to his redeeming purpose for humanity. Despite the pain, Christ did not avoid the cross. He faithfully endured the cross out of love for us. Through the cross, Jesus reiterated God’s judgment over sin, but also the extent of his love.

Today, many would like to believe that God is in need of an upgrade in his ways and rules. Many believe that with the passing of millennia of the human experience, God, the Bible, and religion are in need of revision to bring them up to our times.

Yet, for the believer, it is comforting to know that God’s love, mercy, truth, and justice remain the same. It is no wonder why the Psalm refers to God as the Rock and the Fortress.

Hand in hand with God’s immutable character is his eternal nature. God had no beginning; thus, has no end either. Therefore, let us come before God in praise and in humble petition as the psalmist does in Psalm 90.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 

Teach us to number our days
  that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

(For) Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due to you.

 Have compassion on your servants.
(And) Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,

that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:1, 2, 11, 12, 13)

And, may all glory, praise, and power be to our God, through Jesus his Son. Amen!

Pastor Romero