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The Scriptorium

God Unchanging

And aren't we glad? Malachi 3.4-7

Return from Exile Malachi 3 (2)

Pray Psalm 145.18-21.
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.
The LORD preserves all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD,
And all flesh shall bless His holy name
Forever and ever.

Sing Psalm 145.18-21.
(Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want)
Be near to all who call on You; all those who fear You, bless.
Preserve all those whose love is true; save us in our distress.
Our mouths will speak with praise of You; Your holy Name we’ll bless.

Read Malachi 3.1-7; meditate on verses 4-7.

1. Against whom was God coming as a witness?

2. Why would He not consume His people?

When God comes as Messenger amid His people, to purge and purify them for Himself, then they will make a pleasant offering unto the LORD—of themselves, and not just their gifts (Rom. 12.1, 2). “As in the days of old” God will renew His covenant with Judah and Jerusalem and with all who repent and believe the Good News. Yet His judgment will abide on those who continue to transgress His Law, all who fear not the LORD nor love their neighbors (vv. 4, 5).

God can do this. He can revive and renew His people, despite their recurring sinfulness, because He has promised, and He does not change (v. 6). In Genesis 15.8-18, as God was sealing His covenant with Abram (Abraham), only the symbols of God—the torch and the lantern—passed along the covenant path between the offered animals. Abram stood aside and observed. Thus, God showed that everything necessary for fulfilling His covenant, He Himself would do. From the days of the fathers of Israel (v. 7), God has been faithful and unchanging. His covenant is eternal. His call to His people is ever the same: “Return to Me, and I will return to you” (v. 7).

We can look back through the life and sacrifice of Jesus and see that in Him God fulfilled the “pleasant” offering He desired and which His people had not given (v. 4). Jesus’ righteousness satisfied the Father for all those He is pleased to save; at the same time, His righteousness—the perfect fulfillment of God’s Law—stands in judgment against all those who continue in their sin (v. 5). And the judgment of God that was upon Jesus was not for Him, but for us. He walked the covenant path so that the unchanging God could fulfill all mercy and grace to save His people.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“For I AM the LORD, I do not change…” (Mal. 3.6).

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13.8).

That is the best and worst news ever!

“And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness…
because they do not fear Me” (Mal. 3.5).

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image…For I the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Ex. 20.4-6).

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3.16).

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5.8).

“If you love Me, keep My commandments” (Jn. 14.15).

Bad news if we do not fear God; but good news for those who do.

God does not change with the fashions, nor with the trends, nor with the woke, nor with our misconstrued and misunderstood notions about Him—what He is like, or what we think He wants from us.

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways’, says the LORD.
‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Is. 55.8, 9).
“For who is like Me?
Who will arraign Me?
And who is that shepherd
who will withstand Me?” (Jer. 49.19).

He has told us in His Word what He wants: “He has shown you, O man, what is good…” (Mic. 6.8).
He has given us His Law (Ex. 20.1-17; Matt. 22.37-40).
He will not change. He hasn’t before, and He won’t now.
But what a comforting blessing that is, too! “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13.5).
We are never left wondering about what will please Him; or about how we can adeptly show Him that we love Him. It is all written down for us in His glorious Word.
“‘Return to Me, and I will return to you,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Mal. 3.7).

“For I AM the LORD, I do not change…” (Mal. 3.6).

For reflection
1. Why is it such good news to know that God does not change?

2. What can you do to be more “unchangeable” within God’s covenant?

3. What does it mean for you to “return” to the Lord with each new day?

God is unchangeable. And though the sentence against evil works be not executed speedily, yet it will be executed; the Lord is as much an enemy to sin as ever. We may all apply this to ourselves. Because we have to do with a God that changes not, therefore it is that we are not consumed; because his compassions fail not.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Malachi 3.1-7

Pray Psalm 145.1-17.
Thank and praise God, that He is unchanging and compassionate toward sinners such as we. Commit your day to the Lord, to show forth His praise and live for His glory at every opportunity.

Sing Psalm 145.1-17.
(Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want)
I will extol You, God, my King, and ever praise Your Name!
I bless You, LORD, for everything each day, and e’er the same!
Great are You, LORD, my praise I bring; unsearchable Your fame!

To ev’ry generation we Your wondrous works shall tell.
The splendor of Your majesty we contemplate full well.
We speak of all Your mighty deeds and all Your greatness tell!

Then shall we all the glorious fame of Your great goodness sing—
Your righteousness, Your gracious Name, Your mercy: praise we bring!
Your steadfast love remains the same, Your grace our covering.

Your works shall thank You; all Your saints shall bless and praise You, LORD.
Your reign we bless without restraint; Your power fills our words.
Our children we shall educate in all Your splendor, LORD.

Your Kingdom evermore shall be; You reign forever, LORD!
Your works You do so faithfully, according to Your Word.
The falling You uphold and the oppressed You rescue, LORD!

The eyes of all look up to You to meet our needs each day.
Open Your hand, provide the food we need, O LORD, we pray!
Kindness and righteousness You do, O LORD, in every way!

T. M. and Susie Moore

Two books can help us understand our own captivity and lead us to seek revival and renewal in the Lord. The Church Captive asks us to consider the ways the Church today has become captive to the world. And Revived! can help us find the way to renewal. Learn more and order your free copies by clicking here and here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable free by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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