(13) Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
(14) God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.‘”
(15) God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you ‘ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
“For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”
A. W. Pink in “The Attributes of God” (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2001) discusses The Immutability of God (pp. 37-40)
“God is perpetually the same: subject to no change in His being, attributes, or determinations. Therefore God is compared to a rock (Deut 32:4, etc.) which remains immovable, when the entire ocean surrounding it is continually in a fluctuating state; even so, though all creatures are subject to change, God is immutable. Because God has no beginning and no ending, He can know no change. He is everlastingly “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jas. 1:17).
2 Timothy 2:11-13
(11) It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
(12) If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
(13) If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
(13) For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,
(14) saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.”
(15) And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.
(16) For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute.
(17) In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath,
(18) 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 take hold of the hope set before us.
(19) This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,
(20) where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Reformed writer Paul Mizzi at his website “Truth for Today: Biblical Essays by Paul Mizzi” (http://www.tecmalta.org/tft.htm) addresses the issue of the immutability or unchanging nature of God (“The Unchanging God” http://www.tecmalta.org/tft133.htm). Following are some key points from that essay:
- “God’s nature or character is immutable, that is, it has never worsened or bettered – it remains the same. God does not change, indeed, he cannot change, both in his being (ontologically) and in his will (decretally).”
- “The constancy of his character, his nature or his essential being is brought out. Not only in his character but also in his design and purpose, so much so that Scripture affirms the eternal counsel of God: What God is doing in history since the creation to its consummation is according to his infallible and unchanging plan.”
- “This constancy guarantees that He remains always one and the same true God, faithful to himself (in Trinitarian relationships), to his decrees (secret in himself but not being divulged and executed in history) and his works (in relation with angels and men).”
- “God’s immutability defines all his other attributes: he is immutably wise, he cannot but be merciful, good, and gracious. The same may be said about his knowledge: God does not need to gain knowledge; he knows all things, eternally and immutably so.”
A. W. Pink also makes the following points:
I. In His Essence – God is Always the Same
- “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6) is His own unqualified affirmation. He cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.
- Altogether unaffected by anything outside Himself, improvement or deterioration is impossible. He is perpetually the same.
- He only can say, “I am that I am” (Ex. 3:14). He is altogether uninfluenced by the flight of time. There is no wrinkle upon the brow of eternity. Therefore His power can never diminish nor His glory ever fade.”
II. God’s Attributes Never Change
“Secondly, God is immutable in His attributes. Whatever the attributes of God were before the universe was called into existence, they are precisely the same now, and will remain so forever. Necessarily so; for they are the very perfections, the essential qualities of His being. Semper idem (always the same) is written across every one of them. His power is unabated, His wisdom undiminished, His holiness unsullied. The attributes of God can no more change than Deity can cease to be.
- His veracity is immutable, for His Word is “forever settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89).
- His love is eternal: “I have loved thee with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3) and “Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1).
- His mercy ceases not, for it is “everlasting” (Ps. 100:5).”
III. God Never Changes His Mind or His Plan
- One of two things causes a man to change his mind and reverse his plans: want of foresight to anticipate everything, or lack of power to execute them.
- But as God is both omniscient and omnipotent there is never any need for Him to revise His decrees. No. “The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations” (Ps. 33:11). Therefore do we read of “the immutability of His counsel” (Heb. 6:17).”