The prophet Malachi, speaking for God, takes Israel to task after they return from Babylonian captivity: “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them” (v. 7). The Israelites’ repeated evil warrants God’s wrath, for they have sinned in their worship, obtained unauthorized divorces, abused the disadvantaged, and neglected giving to God. In spite of their sin, God does not abandon them. Why? “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (v. 6).
God’s unchangeable character is the reason wayward Israel remained on the face of the earth. We must not confuse God’s constancy of character with Aristotle’s claim that God is the unmoved Mover who created the world but remains dispassionate. The God of Scripture enters into covenant with Abraham; he loves, hates, and is jealous for his own glory. Because of his stability of character, his people can always trust in his commitment to them.
Theology for Life—David expresses our confidence: “He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken” (Ps. 62:2). Problems and tragedies befall Christians, just as they befall everyone else. At times we sink under their weight, but God’s unchanging grace buoys us up. Malachi 3:6