For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. (Malachi 3:6)
This is one of the texts set forth in the Introduction of CONFESSING THE IMPASSIBLE GOD, The Biblical, Classical, & Confessional Doctrine of Divine Impassibility.
Since I will be mentioning this book and its editors often in the upcoming months, I will not bother to do so at this time (you will hear about these faithful servants of our God enough in future posts).
However, it would be most remiss of me to not mention the author of this Introduction, our esteemed and well used of the Lord brother, James M. Renihan. Although his credentials speak well of him, let our Lord estimate that acquiescence to His glory which our dear brother has been blessed to be used of Him withal.
I am not plugging the book (which I will, and which you MUST read), but simply establishing that which is said in this most simple of verses, regarding the nature of our God. I trust you will research this further, as I also trust that this simple statement of our God’s nature will encourage and strengthen you to simply take Him at His word.
That word is this: We, who are His people, will never suffer His wrath against sin because He has promised us, according to His unchangeable nature, that He has counted these to be satisfactorily dealt with in His Son.
I trust that you are aware of the doctrine of the satisfaction of the Father’s wrath against sin being completely vindicated by His Son coming into time and space, which is to say, redemptive history, to pay fully for the sins of God’s people, and all else that that entails.
Trusting that you know the above, I will be content to address the mentioned passage, in the hope you might seek the fullness of exposition that is in the aforementioned chapter of the book under consideration.
That which I address is simply this: God does not change. This is NOT a statement of “Covenantal Properties,” as some have suggested, but that simple statement of our God of His faithfulness, based in His essence and existence, that nothing done consequent to His everlasting existence can ever effect a change in He who deals with us according to His grace, which means, therefore, “We are not consumed.”
This is our comfort; this is our hope. Our God’s Word is as sure as He is, therefore, we will never fail of His grace, for it, as He, comprehends us in His trustworthiness, which He proved of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
He was consumed, therefore, according to our God’s unchangeable character, purpose and promise, we are not, nor ever will be.
John 5:39: You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.”
Believe the witness, not as the Pharisees did not, but according to our God’s character – He is truth, and cannot lie. We have life, because as He is true, “We are not consumed.” for His Son gave all, that we may live.
Trust God to be true to His nature and Word.