“I, the Lord, do not change” –Malachi 3:6
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” –Hebrews 13:8
“Before Abraham was, I [Jesus] am.” –John 8:58
In Ex 3:14 God attributes himself with the name, Yahweh (often translated, “I AM”). Terence Fretheim says that the best translation for the word is, “I will be who I am/I am who I will be.”
“In essence, I will be God for you [Israel]. The force is not simply that God is or that God is present but that God will be faithfully God for them” (Exodus, Interpretation Commentary, p.63).
We Christians hold firmly to the belief that the character of God never changes. He is the one who is, the one who was, and the one who will come.
It is wonderfully comforting that our God will not stop being who he has always been. It is one of the reasons he is so worthy of our worship.
But, it’s easy for us to mistake our perception of God for the True God.
We are finite people. The more I learn about God and his creation, the more I realize that I really don’t know anything. Creation tells of the work of his hands, people display his image, and his Word tells us the story of his relationship with creation. As God reveals his truth in each of these things I find how infinitely complex and wise God is. I find that once I think I have a grasp of one of his attributes, it turns out that I have only picked up a grain of sand on the shore or a speck of dust suspended in a ray of light beaming through the window.God is never changing, but our perception of him should be always changing. We should not be so audacious to think that our view of God encompasses his complex depth. We should not think that our theological words—such as omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent—are adequate to describe him or that we understand what it means for him to be those things.
A song by one of my favorite bands puts it this way:
“Is your god really God?
Is my god really God?
I think our god isn’t God if he fits inside our heads.”
What makes God even more worthy of worship is that even in our finite, distorted, sometimes unbiblical views of him, he still adopts us as his children. He is not concerned with the measure of our knowledge or certainty. He is concerned with our love. He is concerned that our wills align with his own.
As we become more like Christ, let’s change our definition of who Christ is.
Let’s worship him because we know that he will always be who he has always been.
Let’s worship him because he will never be merely who we think he is.
How has your view of God changed recently? What opened your eyes to it?