Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The One Who Is

When Moses asked God His name, He said, "I am that I am." The most probable meaning of the name of God, Yahweh (more commonly called Jehovah), is "He is." God is the one who simply is. He is eternal; there never was a time when He was not, nor will there be a time when He will not be (Psalms 90:2; 1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 1:8). (While the Bible does not directly teach it, it makes sense to understand that God is outside time and sees things in terms of one eternal now.) He does not change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17; Hebrews 13:8). He is the faithful One (Psalms 89:1-5; 36:5,6; Lamentations 3:22-26).

Now a difficulty that immediately confronts us is, what does it mean to say that God does not change? It does not mean that God does not react to the changes of others. God responds to the behavior of people (Jeremiah 18:7-10; Jonah 3:10; 2 Kings 20:1-7). Now God does not change in His nature, His purposes, or His promises. He does not lightly change His mind, without a real reason (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; 2 Corinthians 1:20). But He does respond to the actions of people. Also, God can and does change His outer ways of working when the time comes that it is appropriate to make a change (Colossians 2:16-19; Galatians 4:1-7; Matthew 9:14-17). Therefore, when Christ came, it changed the external observances because He was the fulfillment of what these represented. But God in Himself does not change.

God is the rock bottom thing in the universe on which everything else is based. God is the rock bottom thing of our lives on which everything else is based. He makes the the universe make sense by being the the One that everything came from, rather than having something come out of nothing for no reason (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16,17). He is the source of the physical laws and the explanation of the physical world. He is also the basis of our life and the One who makes it make sense. Now that does not mean it will be easy. In fact, Scripture promises us troubles (John 16:33; Acts 14:22; 1 Peter 4:12,13). But we can cling to the faithfulness of God in the midst of troubles (Psalms 46:1-11; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Romans 8:35-37). For He is the faithful One who does not change. 

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