Is EVERYTHING Changing? by: Dan Gulley, Smithville, TN
I s everything changing? In 1904 Jennie Wilson wrote the beautiful Gospel hymn, “Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand.” She gave us in verse one of the song: “Time is filled with swift transition – Naught of earth unmoved can stand.” So she went on to urge us, “Hold to God’s unchanging hand.” Life is like shifting sand – always, well, shifting – dramatically, rapidly changing. To many of us over about 40 years old, the shift seems to have kicked up into warp speed. We continue to be deluged by a tsunami of never-ending, bewildering, head-spinning changes. A barrage of changes in technology, communication, transportation, world politics, medicine, manners, and moral as well as religious beliefs and practices. Sometimes it seems the very earth we walk on is shifting beneath our feet! And according to David Grossman, it is, at least if you live in Australia. In an article entitled, “Australia’s GPS Was Off Because the Whole Country Moved” (PopularMechanics.Com [7-29-16]), Grossman writes that due to the movement of tectonic plates deep in the earth, the entire country actually shifted five feet in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. The rate was far too slow for humans to notice, but dramatic enough to effect GPS systems and devices that depend on pinpoint location accuracy (things like driver-less cars and delivery drones, etc.). The positioning system had to be re-positioned!
But wait a minute. Everything is not changing, not by a long shot. Jennie Wilson knew that in 1904. Her song reminded us God is unchanging. Some 2,400 years before she wrote those words, God described Himself in Malachi 3:6 saying, “I am the Lord, I do not change.” Hebrews 13:8 declares, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Inspired words in Psalm 119:89 say, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.” The New International Version translates that verse, “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” Wonderful, beneficial and amazing changes have improved our lives in many ways. The church Jesus built has benefitted and greatly helped in every generation by changes in methods and practices and tools that have proven to be Scriptural but also effective aids in her work (for instance, using social media platforms to share and teach the gospel). We need to be open to changes that aid us as we seek, to borrow words from the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:22, to “become all things to all men, that [we] might by all means save some.” But as the world continues to shift and change, let us remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35). God and His word and the truth He announces in it are eternal. They have no shelf life, no “best-if-used-by” date. Right is still right, wrong is still wrong, light is still light and dark is still dark. Always has been, always will be. Mike Tanaro said this about God and the spiritual moral teachings in His Word – “If it’s new, it ain’t true, and if it’s true, it ain’t new.” In spite of our vast 21st century knowledge and technologies, we are not one inch closer to conquering sin, guilt, fear, or death. Christ remains as the only and unchanging cure for all these things. That being true, Christians must, “Hold to God’s unchanging hand.” Don’t just sing it, do it!