As one who sends out a weekly devotional by e-mail, I often receive a message that someone’s address is no longer valid. Some change their address to evade those who bombard their mailbox with spam. Others change service providers. As they move from one e-mail address to the next, they fail to give their new address, and contact is no longer possible. I have to delete them from my list and move on.
One fellow I’ve known in the past has virtually vanished. I’m sure he’s living somewhere, but I don’t have a clue where. If my life depended on making contact with him quickly, I’d be in big trouble. There are likely several past acquaintances I’d have trouble contacting.
What if God was like us in that respect? What if he decided to move on and left no forwarding address? Have we ever contemplated that possibility?
One of the great promises of the Bible is found in Isaiah 55:6,7: “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (NKJV).
The difference between living on earth and being consigned to hell is hope. As long as we’re living in the flesh, we can decide to turn away from sin and beseech the Lord for his mercy. But once we depart this life separated by our sins from God, there is no longer any hope. Our cries for mercy will not be heard. That is one of the most dreadful facts about hell.
But how do we know God will still hear a penitent sinner’s plea? In the past, he showed mercy and forgiveness to the wicked when they turned to him in faith and obedience. But what if God has changed?
God hasn’t changed. His address is still what it has always been. We know that because of one simple statement in Malachi 3:6: “For I am the Lord, I do not change …” If God has extended mercy to penitent sinners in times past, he will do so now. If God has ever been found by those who sought him earnestly, he can still be found today.
There’s no need to worry about God moving away without leaving any clue about his whereabouts. He’s still the same merciful God who longs for sinners to come home. His address remains unchanged.
God’s immutability can be a comforting fact.