In a time in which lines of distinction and position in the Christian faith continue to be drawn and redrawn, God isn’t moving. He is constant – our North Star – and we must find a way to see him and join him. Psalm 93 and Hebrews 13 help to frame our reflection…
1 The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
2 Your throne was established long ago;
you are from all eternity.
3 The seas have lifted up, Lord,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
4 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea—
the Lord on high is mighty.
5 Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
holiness adorns your house
for endless days.
The character of God, his creative power in our world, the response of creation to God, and his principles are all eternal. “You are from all eternity.” That’s quite a statement.
There are many who believe God changed between old and new testaments. The God of wrath and the God of grace. There are many who would say that our understanding of God is changing and should change as society and discovery helps us to understand God better.
There are risks in these words. Risks of getting it wrong and conforming God to the pattern of this world along with us instead of us being transformed by God by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). There is a way for our understanding to evolve through God’s transformation of our thoughts. I absolutely believe that and I see it in Scripture. God changed the way people thought about him and his ways over and over.
It is important, though, perhaps critical, to not lose sight of God’s never changing essence. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
And so our understanding can become more enlightened by him, as long as it never changes him. Jesus does not change.
This is a starting point rather than an ending point. In other words, this helps to start many conversations about whether our theology has it right, yet it does not finish the conversation by determining this for us. God only can affirm our theology. And he leaves things unclear for us at times.
What to do? Focus on God’s amazing and unchanging nature in Psalm 93. And cling to God more than we cling to our positions. We need positions, yet we also need grace to let people have positions. And all the while keep clinging to God.