And why he seems to change
Special feature written by Lance Corporal Nathan Chan of 10th Kuala Lumpur Company
Some say that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath while the God of the New Testament is a God of love. The idea that God changes seems very plausible, especially when coupled with the fact that he has done it before.
“Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.” (Exodus 32:14)
Yet, the Bible says over and over that God never changes.
“..the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change…” (James 1:17)
How should one make sense of this? There is much forgiveness and compassion shown in the New Testament. Jesus Himself defends an adulterous woman, told in John 8. A woman caught red handed, in the act. There was
no doubting that she was guilty. Yet He did not condemn her, even though he could have.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared”. (John 8:11)
He told a story of a father forgiving his prodigal son (Luke 15). A son who took what was not his yet and wasted it all. A son who worked with pigs, an animal considered dirty by Jews. A son who deserved isolation from his family, forgiven by his father without any hesitation whatsoever.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him” (Luke 15:20)
Even in the Old Testament, there are such incidents. Many times, God is declared to be a “compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness”. He shows himself in such a way with Jonah, forgiving his attempt to flee God. He displays compassion with Israel each time they came back to Him after turning away.
God is always willing to forgive, no matter how severe the sin. Since the beginning of time, he has always shown such a capacity. Yet it is during such acts of kindness when we see God, in multiple cases, changing his mind.
“When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.” (Jonah 3:10)
In the above case, as well as in Exodus 32:14 with the Israelites, it is saidthat God relented. However, the Hebrew word used translates instead to “to be sorry for”. In each case, he was sorry as the Ninevites/Israelites had a change of heart, and repented, turning towards obedience. God did not change. He acted consistently with His Word in response to mankind’s actions.
God never changes. Such is the reason we can rely on promises given thousands of years ago, the reason the words “Christian organization” means anything. Even as everything changes, the principles of the Boy’s Brigade organization will always stay relevant. Never should we fear that they will become obsolete.
“I the LORD do not change” (Malachi 3:6)
Page Created: 16th June 2014
Last Updated: 16th June 2014