What does it mean that God is Unchanging?
As a human, my character often changes according to my circumstances. Yet, God doesn't change.
So, what does it mean that God is Unchanging? God who has always been was the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow: He never changes (Psalm 102:25-27; Hebrews 13:8). It doesn't mean that God can change but simply doesn't. God is unchanging, He cannot change. His perfect character was, is, and will always be unchanging. There will never be a time when God responds differently. External circumstances cannot cause Him to change. We can truly know God because He is unchanging.
Let's focus a bit more intently on God's unchanging nature.
I am a husband of one and a dad of six children. I however am not unchanging. So, when circumstances in life change or my day didn’t go as well as I desired and my mood is affected, those closest to me for the most part suffer for it. This is not right and we who are in Christ should continue to change. By the Spirit and the Word of God, we are to change into the image of God who is unchangeable.
It is written,
Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. (Psalm 102:25-27, bold added)
It is not enough to say that the God of the heavens and the earth is eternal, He is also unchanging. How terrible would it be if God was like a man? Where He would change and act according to the circumstances that surround Him.
For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6, bold added)
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. (James 1:17, bold added)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8, bold added)
It is not enough to say that God is unchanging, He cannot change. He was, is, and always will be the same. We can trust in His character which has been revealed to us through His Word. Because He is unchanging, so is His Word, and His purpose.
For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear an oath by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “indeed I will greatly bless you and I will greatly multiply you.” And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For people swear an oath by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath serving as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to demonstrate to the heirs of the promise the fact that His purpose is unchangeable, confirmed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to hold firmly to the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:13-20, bold added)
God cannot lie. He always speaks the truth and He always does what He says He will do. For God is faithful. These are both wonderful and terrifying truths. For God no matter the circumstances will always act according to His Holy character. We who believe in Christ don’t have to worry about the actions of God in the sense that He is unpredictable. He is not like men and will not change according to circumstances. He will always act according to who He has revealed Himself to be through the Holy Scriptures. This is most comforting to me, but also terrifying. It is terrifying because when God says that He is going to judge the world in righteousness, He is (Acts 17:30-31). When God says that all who do not believe upon the Son are condemned already, then they are condemned (John 3:36). God will not and cannot change His mind. This is a sobering reminder to us Christians and a call to the world to repent and believe the gospel. To call upon the name of the holy and eternal and unchangeable Lord and be saved. God, wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). This is His unchanging purpose. This is what He has been, is, and will continue to work towards. Today, God is working through people, particularly His church, to spread the knowledge of the truth of the gospel to all peoples, everywhere. (Some of the content on this page is taken out of my book: Knowing the God We Proclaim) (To discover more about God, see our page, Who is God?)