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The Unchanging God: He does not change his promises.

The Unchanging God: He does not change his promises.

Read Numbers. 23:18-26

“God is not a man that he should like, nor a son of man, that he should repent”

Balak was frustrated. He had recruited Balaam, a for-hire pagan prophet, to pronounce a curse upon Israel in hopes of weakening their threat against Moab. But in the first attempt, God superimposed his will and instead of pronouncing a curse, Balaam pronounced a blessing. But not one to give up easily, Balak thought that perhaps the problem was one of location rather than message. Because they believed that the gods were geographically confined to specific locations, Balak reasoned that a change in venue would enable Balaam to then pronounce a curse. But once again Balak, and Balaam, was thwarted in their plan.

In verse 19 we find the reason why Balaam could not pronounce a curse: Because God is unchanging, once he has made a promise, he will be faithful to fulfill that promise. Even a false prophet, who presumes to speak for God, cannot change the promises God made to Israel to bring them into the promise land. The term translated “repent” carries with it the idea of changing one's mind about a course of action or truth of something. When God makes a promise, he will not change his mind nor change the course of action he has chosen. This is the comfort for us in times of uncertainty. God has given us promises of peace and assurance in the face of all the struggles we face. While he does not promise to keep our life free from trials, he does promise that he has an eternal purpose in these struggles. God promises that he will not abandon us in times of adversity (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). He will give us the strength to deal with every circumstance whether it be times of prosperity or times of difficulties (Phil. 4:12-13). We have the promise that we have eternal life and that after suffering he will make us strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter. 5:10). We know that God is using this situation to strengthen our faith (James 1:2-4). He promises to listen to our prayer and respond to us by giving us mercy and grace in the midst of our troubles (Hebrews 4:14-16). And the list could go on. A quick search of the internet reveals that there are an estimated 3000-7000 promises in the Bible given to God’s people.

These promises, that were made over 2000 years ago, are still just as real and valid as they were when first given by Christ and his prophets. The reason we can hold to these promises in both our present and even into the future is because God does not change. Time and circumstances have no effect on both his being and his purpose. Therefore, we find the same strength and hope in these promises as previous generations of believers. When you start feeling the pressure of the unease of our present circumstances, spend time in reading the Bible and identifying and affirming the promises that God has given us. Then ask God to give you the strength to find your confidence and security in them rather than the circumstances that surround us.

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