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Verse 6

I am the Lord, I change not - , better, more concisely, “I, the Lord

I change not - . The proper name of God, “He who Is,” involves His unchangeableness. For change implies imperfection; it changes to that which is either more perfect or less perfect: to somewhat which that being, who changes, is not or has not. But God has everything in Himself perfectly. “Thou Alone, O Lord, Art what Thou Art, and Thou Art Who Art. For what is one thing in the whole and another in parts, and wherein is anything subject to change, is not altogether what Is. And what beginneth from not being, and can be conceived, as not being, and only subsisteth through another thing, returns to not-being; and what hath a ‘has been,’ which now is not, and a ‘to be,’ which as yet is not, that is not, properly and absolutely. But Thou Art what Thou Art. For whatever Thou Art in any time or “way,” that Thou Art wholly and always; and Thou Art, Who Art properly and simply, because Thou hast neither ‘to have been’ or ‘to be about to be;’ but only to be present; and canst not be conceived, ever not to have been.” “There is only one simple Good, and, therefore, One Alone Unchangeable, which is God.”

“Our” life is a “becoming” rather than a simple “being;” it is a continual losing of what we had, and gaining what we had not, for “in as far as any one is not what he was, and is what he was not, so far forth he dieth and ariseth;” dieth to what he was, ariseth to be something otherwise.

“Increase evidences a beginning; decrease, death and destruction. And, therefore, Malachi says, ‘I am God, and I change not,’ ever retaining His own state of being; because what has no origin cannot be changed.”

So the Psalmist says Psalms 102:27, “As a vesture, Thou shalt change them and they shall be changed, but Thou art the Same, and Thy years shall not fail;” and Balaam, controlled by God Numbers 23:19. “God is not a man, that He should lie, or the son of man, that He should repent;” and James 1:17, “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Of this unchangeableness of God, His holy ones partake, as far as they fix themselves on God. “The soul of man hangs upon Him, by whom it was made. And because it was made, to desire God Alone, but everything which it desires below is less than He, rightly doth not that suffice it, which is not God. Hence, is it, that the soul is scattered hither and thither, and is repelled from everything, toward which it is borne, through satiety of them. But holy men guard themselves by cautious observation, lest they should be relaxed from their intentness by change, and because they desire to be the same, wisely bind themselves to the thought, whereby they love God. For in the contemplation of the Creator, they will receive this, that they should ever enjoy one stability of mind. No changeableness then dissipates them, because their thought ever perseveres, free from unlikeness to itself. This therefore they now imitate, striving with effort, which hereafter they shall with joy receive as a gift.” To which unchangeableness the prophet had bound himself by the power of love, when he said Psalms 27:4, “One thing I required of the Lord, which I will require, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord.” To this unity Paul clave intently, when he said, Philippians 3:13-14 : “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and stretching forth to those things which are before, I press forward toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

And ye sons of Jacob are not consumed - Man would often have become weary of man’s wickedness and waywardness. We are impatient at one another, readily despair of one another. God might justly have cast off them and us; but He changes not. He abides by the covenant which He made with their fathers; He consumed them not; but with His own unchangeable love awaited their repentance. Our hope is not in ourselves, but in God.

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