"But You are the same — and Your years will never end." — Psalm 102:27
What a fountain of comfort is to be found in the Immutability of God! Not one ripple can disturb the calm of His unchanging nature. Were it so, He would no longer be a perfect Being — He would un-deify Himself — He would cease to be God!
Change is our portion here on earth. "They shall perish!" is the brief chronicle regarding everything on this side Heaven. The skies above us, the earth beneath us, the elements around us shall be destroyed. "All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll! The stars will fall from the sky like withered leaves from a grapevine, or shriveled figs from a fig tree!" Isaiah 34:4
Scenes of hallowed endearment — they have fled! Friends who sweetened our pilgrimage with their presence — they are gone! But here is a sure and safe anchorage amid the world's heaving ocean of vicissitude: "But You are the same — and Your years will never end." All is changing — but the Unchanging One! The earthly scaffolding may give way — but the living Temple remains. The reed may bend to the blast — but the living Rock spurns and outlives the storm!
How blessed, especially, to contemplate the unchangeableness of our Great High Priest, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever!" True, He is, in one sense, "changed." No longer the Man of sorrows; no longer the homeless wanderer. He is enthroned amid the glories of Heaven. Seraphs praise Him — Saints adore Him. But His Heart knows no change. His ascension glories have not obliterated His tender human sympathies. We can think of Him receiving an outcast sinner, or stilling the storm, or standing at the gate of Nain, or weeping tears of pity over a lost city, or tears of sympathy over a buried friend — and write over all these, "You are the same!" The name which He bequeathed by angels to His Church until He comes again is, "that same Jesus!" His own Patmos title is His memorial for all time, "I AM He who lives!"
Believer! has He ever seemed to change towards you? Are you even now mourning over the withdrawal of that countenance whose smile is heaven? Are you saying in the bitterness of your spirit, "Has the Lord forgotten to be gracious?" The change is with yourself — and not with your God. Behind the clouds of your own departure, the Sun of His love shines brightly as ever. "He faints not, neither is weary."
Or, it may be, you are laboring under severe trials. The hand of your God may be heavy upon you. The secret thought may be harbored that some tear might have been spared; that your chastisement might have been less severe — that your bereavement, with its dark accompaniment, might have been mitigated or averted. Look upwards and take the Psalmist's antidote as your own, "I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High God." Think that the same Hand which for you was nailed to the Cross — is now pleading for you on the Throne; ordering and controlling every trial; and over every dark providence writing the unanswerable challenge, "He who spared not His own Son — but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
Oh! thus pillowing your head on the Immutability of Jesus, amid the crude buffetings of a changing world, you will be able to say — until the dawn of the morning breaks on you, which knows neither night nor vicissitude, "I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me live in safety!" — Psalm 4:8
THE GLORY OF GOD
"Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God!" — Psalm 90:2
O My Soul! Seek to fill yourself with thoughts of the Almighty. Lose yourself in the impenetrable tracts of His Glory!
"Can you by searching find out God?" Can the insect fathom the ocean, or the worm scale the skies? Can the finite comprehend the Infinite? Can the mortal grasp Immortality? We can do no more than stand on the brink of the shoreless sea, and cry, "Oh the depth!"
"From everlasting!" — shrouded in the great and amazing mystery of eternity! Before one star revolved in its sphere — before one angel moved his wing — God was! His own infinite presence filling all space. All time, to Him, is but as the heaving of a breath — the beat of a pulse — the twinkling of an eye!
The Eternity of bliss, which is the noblest heritage of the creature, is in its nature progressive. It admits of advance in degrees of happiness and glory. Not so the Eternity of the Great Creator; He was as perfect before the birth of time — as He will be when "time shall be no longer!" He was as infinitely glorious when He inhabited the solitudes of immensity alone — as He is now with the songs of angel and archangel sounding in His ear! But "who can show forth all His praise?" We can at best but lisp the alphabet of His glory. Moses, who saw more of God than most, makes it still his prayer, "I beseech You, show me Your glory!" Paul, who knew more of God than other men, prays still, "that I may know Him." "Our safest eloquence concerning Him," says Hooker, "is our silence, when we confess that His glory is inexplicable."
And is this the Being to whom I can look up with sweetest confidence — and call "My Father"? Is it this Infinite One, whom "the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain," I can call "My God"?
Believer, contemplate the medium through which it is you can see the glory of God, and yet live. "No man has seen God at any time, the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has revealed Him." He who dwells in inaccessible light, comes forth from the pavilion of His glory in the person of "Immanuel, God with us." In Christ, "the Image of the invisible God," the creature — yes, sinners — can gaze unconsumed on the lusters of Deity! Be it yours to glorify Him. Seek thus to fulfill the great design of your being. Let all your words and ways, your actions and purposes, your crosses and losses, redound to His praise. The highest seraph can have no higher or nobler end than this — the glory of the God before whom he casts his crown.
But He has a claim on you, which He has not on the unredeemed angels. "He gave Himself for you!" This mightiest of all boons which Omnipotence could give, is the guarantee for the bestowment of all lesser necessary blessings, and for the withholding of all unnecessary trials. While you are called to behold "His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father," remember its characteristic; it is not a glory to appall you by its splendors — but to win and captivate you by its beauties — it is "full of grace and truth." He is your God in covenant. "Underneath are the everlasting arms." You may compose yourself on your nightly pillow, with the sweet pledge of security, and say, "I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me live in safety!" — Psalm 4:8
John MacDuff (1818-1895)