Absolutes: the unchangeable.
Benjamin Franklin was an elder statesman, a philosopher of sorts, somewhat of a comic, a prolific wordsmith, but not much of a theologian. In one writing he said the only certainties in life are death and taxes. It was probably humorous in the avenues of change our founders traveled in forming our democratic republic. And, his cohort of rebellious framers certainly knew his jest. Even people in that generation knew that everything related to this earth or human ways change in a non-static universe. Sure, life then wasn't the fast, complicated treadmill of the twenty-first century world. It was changing however. They weren't exponential times. Still, change was happening. His two certainties may have supplied some comic relief to those charting a new course under the critical eyes of British officials and troops.
Even then, our theologians and pastors would have known the true absolutes of life, those limited realities that have been unchanging in human history. Though limited in number, they would have preached the unchanging truths about the nature of our Triune God, his inerrant Word, and his redemptive work in this world. For the sake of this space, I have assembled some of the Scriptures that affirm these never changing absolutes. Make note---
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
Isaiah 40: 8, ESV
For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
Malachi 3: 6, ESV
As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the
things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4: 18, ESV
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the
unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,so that by two
unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for
refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.We have
this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place
behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having
become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrew 6: 17-20, ESV
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13: 8, ESV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of
lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
James 1: 17, ESV
Understand that these are just samples of the biblical references about the character of our Triune God, his revelation in Scripture, and his work in redeeming sinful humanity. They are realities that are eternal and unchanging in a universe that is constantly in motion. They are the absolutes that rule his creation, even in exponential times. While we are caught in the velocity, complexity, and mobility of the world around us, theses absolutes are sure, certain, and unchanging.
The truth of Hebrews 6: 17-20, printed above, provides one of the sure guides to navigating change. God revealed to the anonymous author of the Epistle to the Hebrews a truth to enable us humans to find traction in a fast, complex world. This author assured all the readers in history that God's promise and oath to Abraham would be an "anchor of the soul", a firm and eternal solid grasp for living in a world of change. The absolute certainty of God's character and work in our lives provides us an anchor to keep us from being swept away in the currents of change.
These are certainly times of enormous change. Covid 19 has introduced dramatic changes in our lifestyles and expectations. Even more, the collision of values that have become obvious in our racial, political, economic, educational, and everyday lives have multiplied the uncertainties that confront all of us on a daily basis. We all could use an "anchor of the soul" to keep us steady in a world of immense change. My prayer, every single day, if for a spiritual revival that will give us the hope promised by God in that Hebrews passage. You see, the things of God are the only unchangeables, the absolutes to guide us when change overwhelms our human systems. God is our only unchanging reality, our "anchor of the soul"
Be blessed, And join me in that prayer.
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