The Mountains of Brass - A Look at God's Immutability and Charcter - by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

Articles on the Christian Walk, Systematic Theology and Practical Theology

Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

Knowing Christ More

Take a moment to check out these solid, biblical Christ-glorifying works that will help you draw closer to the Savior.

Grow in Knowledge

These works will help you grow in your knowledge of God.

Workbooks Like No Other

There are no other workbooks like these anywhere that will help you work through the best biblical theology.

An exhortation on God’s immutability.

When life is uncertain is so many ways, where do you turn and trust? When life cannot tell you what things will be like in the next hour, what keeps you going? You may have bad news in an hour. There is the uncertainty and possible loss of comfort around every corner. People may make you do things you do not want to do in an hour. You may feel worse physically, due to sickness or disease in an hour. When life has no billboard to tell you what will happen next, and is uncertain in so many ways, where do you turn and trust? What keeps you going? The answer may surprise you. I believe Zechariah 6:1-15 furnishes us with an insight into answering this for us. We are turning our attention to a passage of Scripture which is laden with doctrinal and Gospel richness.

I would like to set this passage before you in 4 main points. The first is the Prophet’s Vision. Zechariah’s vision is set in the context of a returning people from exile back to their land, and in the process of rebuilding the temple. There is a great disparity of the event of exile in and of itself. No one would ever want or desire to go through the horror of being exiles by a foreign power. But, however horrible it had been for the Israelites, there was a glimmer of hope. God had brought them back from foreign captivity, and the Gospel itself was now being foreshadowed among them which can be plainly seen in the visions of the prophet Zechariah.

There must have been a sort of depression about the whole situation. The idea of starting over could not have been appealing. The temple had been pillaged and leveled, the walls broken down, and the doors to the city burned. Nehemiah and Ezra had already begun the restoration of the temple and the teaching of the Law to the returning exiles. Yet, there was still the threat of enemies all about them from every direction, and the weakness of the covenant nation would not be able to stop any invading army. There seemed to be a desperateness to the situation.

In the midst of this apparent disparity, a disparity still seasoned with a glimmer of hope, the Lord gave the prophet Zechariah 8 night visions concerning what He would accomplish in and through them. Our text involves the climactic eight vision. The meaning of the vision is given by the angel instructing Zechariah. The angel speaking with Zechariah provides him the meaning of these visions, not just the vision itself without explanation. I want to consider these verses in light of their meaning and explanation, not simply as the vision alone vision. Visions are not necessarily helpful without the interpretation.

Verse 1 and verse 5 are synonymous parallels. One gives the foundation of the vision, verse 1, and one is an interpretation of the vision, verse 5. They are formally deemed as a synonymous parallelism because they are balanced and compliment one another in interpretation. For instance, if I say “God is good,” and “Jesus is great,” “God” and “Jesus” are parallels, while “good” and “great” are parallels. Both sentences compliment one another and build upon one another. In these two verses, verses 1 and 5, the parallels are clearly seen. The Chariots are interpreted as the seven spirits of God. These are the decrees of God being executed upon the entire earth, with a connotation of a warlike dominance. We might ask, why chariots? Why not a gentle wind flowing out from the mountains? The reason behind this is because God is the warrior God who fights on behalf of His people, and conquers their enemies as if they were His own. God is the “Lord of All the Earth” (verse 5). He is the sovereign King over everything that has substance. If we were to look out over the rocky mountain range in Colorado, we may see a beautiful sunrise coming up between the valley of two mountains. But Zechariah does not view the mountains in this way. It is not a beautiful sunrise he sees. From amidst the base of the mountains ride out the war chariots of God over the face of all the earth to accomplish His will and execute the divine mind in all His decrees.

It is important to note the chariots ride all over the earth accomplishing God’s will over all nations. God is sovereignly in control of, literally, “the whole earth” as opposed to just a part of it. He is not like the mythological gods of Greece who were thought to be over a certain department of nature. No, God is sovereign over all things, all people, all nations, all animals, all the earth. The phrase “presence of the Lord of all the earth” refers to the mountains, and the chariots ride out, literally, “from their origin or source” or “presence” before Him. It is a glorious picture that nothing will stop God’s decrees from coming to pass as they roll out of the immutable and unmovable Mountains of Brass. These prophetic chariots, reminiscent of Revelation 6:1ff, execute the divine mind and will on the earth. They ride over the corners of the earth and travel “throughout it.” The interpretation of these chariots have been varied. Some believe they are angels, some believe they may be references to the operation of the Spirit, but all are agreed that they demonstrate God’s decreed will being accomplished. God’s will, as emphasized before, is “throughout the earth,” as in verse 7.

The foundation of the passage, though, rests on the Mountains of Brass. Some interpreters have “Mountains of Bronze” and not “brass” respectively. This I think is mistake since the Hebrew word tv,xon> nechosheth {nekh-o’-sheth} usually refers to a copper and bronze mixed which given the idea of the article or object being brazen, or more plainly, brass. But, in either case, whether someone desires to call the mountains brass or bronze, the meaning of the passage does not change at all.

The Mountains here are vitally important. You cannot forget the beginning and basis of the vision and message, lest you corrupt the whole passage. It is true that certain scholars have disagreed on the meaning of the mountains, but I find their meaning plain in accordance with the whole of the passage; and I sit in good company with Calvin and the Puritans on this point. Since the parallel of verse 1 and 5 seems so plain, and the chariots are likened to the spirits of heaven, and the mountains are likened to the presence of the Lord, I conclude quite confidently that the basis for the entire chapter rests on the Mountains of Brass. These Mountains are symbolic and pictorial of the immutable nature and decrees of God. Though mountains through the Old Testament are often designated by judgment and power, the chariots in this instance take up those roles. Rather, the Mountains of Brass shadow the immutability and steadfastness of the divine will and decrees. They are the objects that give the entire chapter any sense whatsoever. Without the immovable and unchangeable Mountains of Brass, the prophecies and Messianic expectations are worthless.

In verse 9 we have a link, so to speak. The connection here is sometimes translated “then” but is better and more appropriately translated “and then” or “and therefore.” It is a very important conjunction which continues the flow of thought. Sometimes study Bibles have those headings mixed through each chapter to give you a quick reference of what is happening in the narrative or prophecy. In this case, if your Bible has one of these titles at verse 9 it does damage to the flow of thought. This final night vision of Zechariah cannot be broken off or separated from the rest of the chapter. It is linked to a messianic explanation of the work of God through the Messiah, the Mountains of Brass decreeing, unchangeably, the work of the chariots to bring forth the Branch.

We then begin to enter into shadows and prophecies concerning God’s decreed work among His people. Verses 10-11 give us an illustration of future redemption from exile, but not simply physical exile, but spiritual exiles from sin. The Branch is going to come to redeem His people (verse 12). He will build the temple of the Lord and gather those in who He has come to redeem. Was this confusing to the prophet? The temple was in the process of being rebuilt already. Why would the Branch come to rebuild it again? Verse 13 helps us to see that this is a spiritual temple, not a stone edifice. It depicts the coronation of the Branch as the King and Priest of the new temple to be built – the spiritual temple – where He shall bear its “glory.” The word “glory” may be better translated “majesty or splendor.” The meaning here is that the Branch will make this temple what it is – majestic and splendorous, yes, glorious.

I would add in a note to all this concerning the Branch; there is mention of the “counsel of peace” between God and the Messiah. The divine Godhead counseling within Himself as to the nature and purpose of the Branch is readily available to those skeptics who believe God is not one and three (one essence, 3 persons). Here, God counsels with the Messiah. This is a very interesting note to make since we may ask with God, “who is He that counsels the Lord?”

I would also make another note on verse 14 which demonstrates a kind of foreshadow to the crowning of the Messiah. I particularly see an emphasis on the names of the men. Each name has a particular meaning. Helem means strong; Tobijah means the goodness of God; Jedaiah means God knows; Hen means grace; and Zephaniah means God protects. Are these not all descriptive attributes of the coming One who shall save His people from their sins? Zechariah is instructed to make “crowns,” (plural) for them. Is this not reminiscent of the Christ as the rider on the white horse in Revelation 19:12, “and upon His head were many crowns…?”

Verse 15 ends with a notation of God’s outreach to the Gentiles, “those who are far off.” This is a most glorious point, and especially so for me personally since I am a Gentile. God’s decreed messianic plan includes Gentile nations, not simply the Israelite nation. This verse alone argues quite conclusively that the church is seen throughout the entirety of the Bible. Though the church is typified by the stone building of the exiles, it is the spiritual house which will include people from all nations and be made one in Christ, the Branch. The apostle Paul borrows this very phrase when speaking of the Ephesian Gentiles in Ephesians 2:13, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” In the church the fulfillment of the prophecies of Zechariah 6:1-15 are seen quite clearly.

In summary of this first section, the Prophet’s Vision, we find these verses set in context that is both prophetic and messianic. It is prophetic in that it details the work of God (what He will do) on behalf of the nation of Israel. God will vanquish, and keep at bay, the enemies of Israel (the church). This is something He is doing, and will ultimately fulfill, but has described beforehand to the prophet. It is also messianic in that it chronicles the ultimate triumph of God in setting up a temple of the Lord through the Messianic builder who will come and mediate and rule the people of God. God in the end shall win and shall be victorious in this battle, and is thus pictured by the crowning of the exiles again in verse 14. However, this vision is also strewn with a warning. All this will come to pass, if they obey the voice of God; if they heed His promises. What a most excellent Gospel passage. It rivals many of Isaiah’s passages for its clarity and substance as portraying the coming of the Redeemer who will branch out all over the world.

The next major point I would like to tackle is the Prophet’s Comfort – where does he draw it? It could be that Zechariah would take comfort in the crowning of the exiles, or the furtherance of the redeeming hand of God through bringing close those whoa re far off. But such pictures and promises are dependant on the coming of the Branch. Yet, the coming of the Branch is dependant on the conquest of the war chariots over the face of the earth – the decrees of God. And yet again, these war chariots, the decrees, come forth from the Mountains of Brass, the immutable nature of God Himself. It is easy, then, to conclude that the foundation of this passage lies in understanding the Mountains. As I said earlier, if the Mountains of brass are not central and founding, then the passage loses its assurance. There is no doubt in my own mind, nor of Calvin’s or the Puritans, that this speaks emphatically of the immutability of God’s Nature and Promises. The entire reality of the passage rests on God’s perfection of immutability, that He does not change. He is like Mountains of Brass. However, the idea of God’s unchangeableness does us little good and is only helpful to us if it is in relation to God’s other attributes. Immutability speaks of the essence of its object. So it is important to note that the unchangeableness of God, His immutability, permeates every facet of His nature. All His attributes reflect this. It is not that He is simply eternal, or infinite, or good, but immutably so. He is immutably good, and immutably infinite, and immutably eternal, and immutably holy, and so on.

Here, it does the prophet little good, or the people of Israel for that matter, if they do not understand the meaning behind the Mountains of Brass. Or in a word, what does it mean that God is likened to Mountains of Brass? If I were Zechariah, what would I know about the unchanging nature and promises of God? As a prophet, a teacher, Zechariah should know certain things about God. If I were him, what would I find in the Old Testament Scriptures concerning God’s unchanging nature?

First, I would concern myself with understanding the immutable nature of God. I could look in the Psalms and find this wonderful passage, Psalm 102:26-27, “They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.” The Psalmist here tells us that in contrast to the created order, God endures forever. He does not change. The word “endure” is amad {aw-mad’} which means “to stand, remain, endure, take one’s stand.” God will continue, forever, to stand or remain. He does not change nor waiver. In contrast to the created order, God is also the same. “But You are the same and your years…” it is interesting to note that the word shaneh (in pl. only), {shaw-neh’} or (fem.) shana refers to a lifetime (of years of life). But God does not have years of life at all. It seems the Psalmist is taking a poetic license and playing on the words here. God’s years, are no years at all since they extend into all eternity.

If I were Zechariah, I could also turn back to the Law and find in Exodus 3:14, a reference to God’s name and His unchangeableness. “And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Yahweh, God’s name in Hebrew, refers to His immutable nature. He is what He is and cannot be anything greater or less than He is. He is, in this respect, unchangeable.

I could also move further up to Deuteronomy 33:27 and find a comforting verse reflecting God’ unchangeableness as seen as our Refuge, “The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’” The term “everlasting” here means “perpetual arms” which are unchangeably eternal. If you have ever weight-trained, you know how difficult it is to lift the same weight for an hour. It is impossible. The arms become very tired from such work. But for God, His arms are everlasting. They do not change or become weary.

In Isaiah 26:4 we find the strength of God , “Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.” He we see the perpetual, continuous existence words of forever and everlasting. God does not tire, nor weaken. His energy and power to save is never depleted. He is always at work, and always able to do such a saving work because He does not change; in fact, He is everlasting in every way.

Not only would Zechariah believe God was unchangeable as to His essence, but also to His promises as a necessary requisite. The decrees of God are immutable, His promises are unchangeable. Isaiah 46:10-11 teaches us this in a vivid and precise manner, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.” This text teaches us that God’s decree, desire, and experience are always one and the same. (This is often a difficult statement for many to swallow.) Whenever God decrees something, He desires it and experiences the affect. It cannot be any other way unless God’s decrees are nothing but empty promises. Since we know His character is unchangeable, and He has the power and ability to accomplish such things, thus, He necessarily brings whatsoever He ordains or decrees to pass. It is inescapable.

Jeremiah 33:14 says, “’ Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah:” This promise shall come to pass. It is inevitable based upon the promises of God’s unchanging decree. Such is His nature!

God’s decrees even reach down to the individual in a personal way. 2 Samuel 7:28 states, “And now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant.” As with David, in a personal relationship, God decrees and promises to redeemed men “goodness” as in the case with His elect servant David. David can personally rest on these promises made to Him, as the Christian can rest on the promises made in the Bible to all believers. This “rest” stems from the faithfulness of God, which is a necessary correlative of His unchangeableness.

Even practically, this idea is seen in such texts as Numbers 10:29, “Now Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will treat you well; for the LORD has promised good things to Israel.” How discouraging this would have been if Moses could not have trusted God to do what He said he would do. It is said with eager expectation of what shall come to pass which demonstrates that even in the basic conversation of everyday living, Moses is able to affirm the promises of God which he awaits to come to pass.

Even in creation God’s decrees are executed as something which cannot be undone. Psalm 148:6 says, “He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.” And Jeremiah 5:22 states, “Do you not fear Me?’ says the LORD. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it?” Nature submits under the immutable decree of God. Nature is also subjected to the will of the Creator, and this will is unchangeable. Even the individual grains of sand particles on the sea shore are ordained to their place under the will of God. They are boundaries to the seas and oceans where the boundaries are not crossed, as God so wills them.

If Zechariah ponders all this in light of His vision, what will he come away with? I believe the answer to this is quite plain. The Mountains and Chariots argue emphatically for the immutability of God and stability of the covenant of redemption. You may have seen the movie Ben Hur, where the horses raced around the large track at the sub-climactic end. The charioteers and the horses were given an appearance of raw power. You could imagine being near the chariots as they drove by, as if the movie camera panned along the power of the steeds and the sound of their hoof beats as they rode by with mud flying, whips snapping, and horses snorting. The picture that Zechariah would have seen surpasses the imaginary story of those chariots, and sets in the mind a deliberate doctrine of God’s power seen in His unchangeable decrees and purposes stemming from His immutable nature. It is a purpose which screams that salvation is not found in rebuilding a structure. It is not in stone walls built by exiles, or brazen altars or gold candlesticks, or the showbread of a refurbished temple. The rebuilding of the temple is only a pointer to the to the greater – it is a shadow and type. Salvation is founded upon God’s nature and promises of the coming Messiah – the Branch! And God’s will to bring this to pass is not as if He is a mountain of wax but a Mountain of Brass. He does not melt, or is weak before His enemies. The Babylonian, Assyrians, Egyptians or the like will not thwart His purposes. He keeps His enemies at bay and His chariots of sovereign, unchangeable decree travel all over the earth.

Though I have summarized in brief the point of the Mountains of Brass and the vision of Zechariah, such ideas also, in principle, exegete over to the Christian’s comfort, but in a much fuller degree. It may be first asked, What is the Christian’s salvation and comfort? This all rests upon the same truth that Zechariah had been given – it rests on the immutable character of God’s nature and decree. And though it does so, the Christian is able, to a much more precise and all encompassing degree, to understand such a doctrine as this because he has the entire Bible to search through – both the Old Testament and the New Testament. He could look to the famous Malachi 3:6 passage which states, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Can you think back upon a time during your Christian walk where your sin was manifest most? Not when you sinned, that could be moments ago, but you’re your sin was most manifest? After committing that sin you realize the gravity of your disobedience and your unfaithfulness. You experience the sorrow for committing it, and the shame. Your heart is heavy and you desire to beg forgiveness of the Lord. So you go to your closet, kneel down to pray and ask God through Christ to wash away the iniquity; to place your sin as far as the east is from the west. And then God says, “No, not today.” How would you feel? Words cannot describe such a horrible thought! Imagine if God decided to change His mind in granting pardon? What a horrible thing this would be for God to become hypocritical in His promises! But this is not the case whatsoever. His promises stand for they are ever sure. Every time you approach him, 7 times, 70 times, or 700 times a day, He pardons His people with fresh grace because He does not change. “I the Lord do not change…” That is why the Apostle Paul could say in Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Not that salvation is found without any repentance, but that God’s end of salvation is without repentance. When God saves He does so to the uttermost. He does not go back on His promises. His salvation is characterized as a salvation without His repentance to it. Men, then are really and truly saved, not hypothetically saved, or possibly saved. As James says in 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” These words are very unique in that they are used in the Bible only here. They are astronomical terms used of the stars and terrestrial bodies in space. As the sun rises and sets, and as the shadows which result from the sun are seen here in earth, seasons come and go, and change always occurs. It is inevitable. But for God, there is not even a chance of shadow. He has no variableness whatsoever. Here then we find Titus’ exhortation to fit quite nicely in 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” Why is this so? Why is the promise really a promise? As 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” No matter how horribly we may stumble or fall as Christians, god is ever faithful. Why is this? Why would He do this at all? Because He does not change, and His promises in Christ do not change.

The Christian does not only rest in the immutability of God, but also on the immutability of the Person and Work of Christ: the Branch who has come. The Promise came to pass exactly as the Lord said in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Hebrew idea of the word “Branch” literally means “raised up.” God raised Jesus Christ up as the Messiah. This is not like the farmer who plants the crops and hopes for a good season. No, not at all. God ensured the Branch would grow because He decreed it to be such. It was His unchangeable will for it to be so. What was the foundation of the promise? Is there a New Testament confirmation of this anywhere? Most certainly. Hebrews 6:17-20 is most explicit and emphatic concerning this, “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” What can be said of such a vivid passage? Jesus Christ is the ordained Messiah who has come as a result of the immutable counsel of God because God cannot lie! What He says shall come to pass and it cannot be, nor ever will be, revoked. The Branch saves because God intended it to be so, and decreed that it would come to pass. The Mountains of Brass raised up the Messiah and ordained His coming by that immutable counsel that has no shadow of turning.

In the Branch God raised a spiritual house that should be the habitation of God. It is quite unequivocal in Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” God is building, in the Messiah, and as a result of His work, a spiritual temple, not simply a physical monolith. And this spiritual building will not only be of the Jews, but of the Gentiles; those who were far off have been brought near. We who are Gentiles have been brought near in the Branch who has branched out.

In surveying the unchangeable nature of God and His promises, and seeing the salvation of Christ, there are applications to be made concerning the doctrine of God’s unchangeableness from this passage in Zechariah. First, it is a most horrible doctrine to those who are resolved to stay in their sin. They meet with a most unhappy doctrine in God’s immutability as a lost person. Oftentimes, people believe that God will change the rules for them at the very last moment. It is a hopeful expectation on the part of the lost that God will cease to be God, just for them at their judgment. But, at the last minute, God will not change His mind for you if that is your hope. People live in such a state as to think, for them, God will give up being God – such is not nor ever has been the case. God is like Mountains of Brass, not like mountains of wax, or mountains of Jell-O. “Well,” you say, “maybe He will bend the rules a little?” No sir, that is not the case. God does not change. His nature would never allow it. There is no shadow of turning with Him! He is Mountains of Brass! He is so resolved in His unchangeableness that He will see His Chariots trample you to the second death before He would ever change in any manner. You should ask the earth to stop rotating and for the light of the sun to flee from your presence before ever asking God to change His nature. Those feats of nature would certainly happen sooner than God changing His nature and promises for you, a sinner.

It is not doubted that for an unconverted sinner like you this doctrine is the most horrible of any you could hear. God’s nature is ever constantly holy, and He will never bend His justice to suit your sinfulness. What an unhappy life you will live in light of such a truth knowing full well that a resolution to stay in your sin further ensures your greater damnation!

Yet, though it be a horrible doctrine, it is also a most happy doctrine that God does not change, because the same promises of a Messiah who saved sinners and redeems them is as much a reality today as for Zechariah, and I say even more so! Hear God when He says in Isaiah 55:3, “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you — The sure mercies of David.” Surely the Lord Jesus Christ Himself appeals to you to come in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” This is a great comfort that God is unchanging in His redemption. It is offered to you, even commanded that you come and hear, and all you must do is trust His love and favor in the Branch who saves.

His immutable character will be to you either for utter peril in wrath and judgment on you, or for an exceedingly wonderful salvation that is sure and true. What other religious system offers you a God who’s salvation is sure? There are none! All other false systems are laden with works that you must do. And in the here and now, maybe but for a moment, your attempt to work your own salvation may prove some kind of fleeting comfort. But, you must come humbly to love the Mountains of Brass lest they fall upon you and crush you and in the end be your eternal ruin.

In juxtaposition to this, the redeemed elect find this doctrine a sweet savory truth. It is a great comfort the Christian that God never changes, for that means that no matter what happens in the Christian’s walk, God’s smile is constantly on them through Jesus Christ. God’s immutable favor and love rests on them for all eternity.

With such a comfort bestowed on Christians, you who are Christians should have certain ideas lodged in your mind concerning this blessed truth. First, you should stir yourself to remember that God’s immutability is the foundation of His faithfulness to you. All the promises of the Bible rest on the faithfulness of God. And His faithfulness rests on His immutability. It is a sweet contemplation to know He never changes and will always be faithful to you. If God were not Mountains of Brass, then Scriptures like Romans 8:28 would be utterly meaningless otherwise. How could a God whose nature or promises waiver ever tell you the truth about anything? He could not.

Secondly, though He may hide his face for a moment, or His promises may seem to be delayed, do not rest on your outward senses and feelings, but upon the Word which states the truth of the matter, that God does not change. It is true we are creatures of unbelief because of the sinfulness of sin. The English Puritan John Owen rightly said, “For the most part we live upon successes, not promises – unless we see and feel the manifestation of victories, we will not believe.” We are all like doubting Thomas, even as Christians. We like to see His work with our eyes. Does it not make you wonder why He gave us the bread and wine for the Lord’s Supper as physical objects to stir our faith? We are a forgetful people. But God is not like the weather that changes. The seasons constantly change into summer, fall, winter, and spring – and they do this continually. But with God, He is nothing like this whatsoever. You never have to wonder if His promises to you will come to pass, or if tomorrow He will be faithful. He is like an ever constant Beam of Divine glory to behold. He is the God who is faithful, One who can be relied on, and One in whom you can trust and believe.

Thirdly, do not judge the works of God as you would the works of men. Men change like the blowing of the wind, but God does not. Imagine if His love could change. Imagine if it waxed strong one day to lift you up, and then another day it was weak and pitiful and let you down. God’s love could not be half so great to you if He changed. No, His love is an ever constant stream of living water for the soul. The love of men waxes and wanes always, but God is ever constantly loving you in Christ, the Branch. You must understand that you have a full assurance though you may not fell like it. You may say with full assurance of faith, “God loves me and He loves me unchangeably; my friends change, my outward comforts change, I myself change – but He never changes. He lays me upon a sick bed, but He loves me. He afflicts me in various trials, but He loves me. He sometimes seems to slay me, but He loves me. I struggle with sin against Him all the time, but He loves me. I depart from His righteous path, but He loves me. I give into the world the flesh and the devil, but He loves me. He loves me notwithstanding everything I do. He loves me constantly. How sweet such a promise of love is! How sweet it is to say with the apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:4 that His promises are “precious promises” given to me in Christ. Who would not long for this unchanging and constant love of the highest degree? He will love me here, and then love me forever in heaven. He does not change. He is ever constant in His love. I am forever upon His heart in love.” Such is the case for the Christian, and should be known by the Christian because God is immutable.

Fourthly, is an exhortation about the doctrine of immutability enough to stir your hearts to love Him more? Is an exhortation or teaching on a “static” doctrine something which moves your heart to be lifted into the bosom of the heavenly Father? Let us give glory to God’s unchangeable nature and promises in Christ Jesus. Let us give glory to the unchangeable Mountains of Brass, to the chariots of His will, and to the Branch who has come and saved us.

Bible Verse:

"...knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot," (1 Peter 1:18-19).

APM Newsletter

advertisement
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!