Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
- Hebrews 13:8
It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.
- Genesis 31:41
Then he spoke his message:
“Arise, Balak, and listen;
hear me, son of Zippor.
God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?
I have received a command to bless;
he has blessed, and I cannot change it.
- Numbers 23:18-20
“If we neglect our duty, men will be not only contented but transported by the mixed novelty and familiarity of snowdrops this January, sunrises this morning, plum pudding this Christmas. … Only by our incessant efforts is the demand for infinite, or unrhythmical, change kept up.”
- C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
I am thinking today about “change.” There is over a hundred uses of the word in the NIV, but the thing that I like the most is that God, and Jesus, do not change. The Hebrews and the Numbers Scriptures above talk of that. By the way, the Numbers passage above is part of Balaam’s refusal to curse the people of Israel, although Balak had paid him to do so.
As for the Genesis Scripture, Jacob is complaining that Laban had cheated him at every opportunity, although Jacob had used a bit of trickery himself after he had learned Laban’s true character. Most of the changes in wages were to reduce what Jacob would receive. I never felt that burning loyalty for my employer each time my pay was cut, but if I had projects that needed to be completed on time. I still did the best I could for the paying customer while the company made a greater profit due to my lowered wages.
I remember a billboard. I remember the play on words, but not the actual words. It appeared about twelve years ago. I think it was in North Carolina, but again not completely sure. The sign said that in his political campaign, the president had promised “change.” Then the person who paid for the billboard defined how that change had affected him. His wages had changed – gone down. His taxes had changed – gone up. The price of gasoline changed – gone up. And on he went for several more “changes.” Then he concluded that the president should do like other politicians do and forget his campaign promises because the “change” is killing us.
“Change without continuity is chaos. Continuity without change is sloth.”
- Max De Pree
“Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth.”
- C. S. Lewis
Note that the first C. S. Lewis quote above is from The Screwtape Letters. Screwtape, a senior demon, is telling Wormwood, a junior demon, that if Wormwood fails in guiding the “patient” in the wrong direction, toward evil, that the patient might start getting hope and thinking about snowdrops, sunrises, and plum puddings. And what are the demon’s tools? A demand for infinite or unrhythmical change. In other words, change without continuity.
I could focus on a particular standing, or probably lying down taking a nap, president in the USA, but countries around the world seem to be falling apart due to change without continuity.
How does that work? Make hundreds and hundreds of rapid changes. Spend trillions upon trillions of dollars within a few months. Once the changes are too numerous to count and the money spent has too many zeros behind the first number for anyone to comprehend… Note: I cannot comprehend too many millions, much less billions or trillions. When you have change without continuity is when no one can blame the total collapse of the government upon any one thing. There are too many culprits to choose between. And the perpetrators then slink, or is it slither, behind the walls of their gated communities, and they count the money they have made while everyone else suffers from the “chaos,” as Max De Pree puts it.
We can rely upon our governments, who will, most likely, make life worse for us, or we can turn to God. God never changes. In this fallen world, change is inevitable. And as for continuity without change, I disagree with Max De Pree regarding it being sloth. For us, maybe so, although I would love for computer software upgrades (not needed repairs) to slow down, as it does not take long before you must buy a new computer. (A coincidence? I think not.) God’s lack of change is one of His best attributes. It is something that we can rely upon as everything around us changes.
I titled this post in asking if the present climate of rapid change in governments around the world is a coincidence? I think not, and in reading the advice of Screwtape, I think we know the source. Satan, or as Screwtape refers to him as “our Father Below,” would be delighted in creating chaos around the world, just for one reason: To have people curse God and blame God for the calamity they, the people themselves, have created in this fallen world.
God has a great deal of patience, but as God allowed the Israelites to be sent into exile to fulfill the threat made in Deuteronomy, God will end this world and create a New World for those who love Him and trust Him.
It is time, and past time. Repent and return to God. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” He is our one refuge from seemingly infinite and unrhythmical change.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.