God is of immutable standard: Meditation for the second sunday after trinity
The world we live in and what are in it are ever changing – times, tides, values, styles, fashions, trends, etc. It is said and assumed that everything changes except change. Everything is, therefore, categorised into old and new, outdated and current. What was good and acceptable yesterday becomes archaic today, hence the concept of “new morality”, modern lifestyles and values.
But God does not change in His essence. He says in Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Even when every other thing changes, God’s nature, principles and standards never change. God does not have a standard for a people of a time and another for people of another time. Therefore, as we live in a changing world, we shall do well, as Jimmy Carter, a former President of the United States of America put it, to “change with changing times but still keep with changeless principles.” God’s holiness and righteous standard or requirements are changeless. There should be nothing like: “My pastor doesn’t preach against it”, “my church is not against it”, “it suits me”, “my culture accepts it”, etc. what matters is what God has said about it.
At any point in time, God is of purer eyes to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness or iniquity (Hab. 1:13). ‘…The solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His” and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”’ (2Tim. 2:19, cf 1Pet. 1:15 – 16; 2Cor. 7:1).
Reflections on the Bible Readings for Day (Mattins)
In the OT passage (Micah 3:5-end), Micah warned the rulers, priests, and prophets of his day to avoid bribes or being influenced by people’s offers. The situation, which bred injustice, corruption and all manners of evil would bring destruction to the city.
Some prophets of Israel delivered to the people what they felt would make the people happy, instead of the message from God. Their messages were geared towards the favours they received. Prophets derail or distort the message or moral standard of God for different reasons, which include political pressure (2 Kgs 22:13), immorality (Isa. 28:7), greed (Ezek. 13:19) and confusion (Jer. 14:14).
The NT passage (Matt. 5:27-end) is a part of what is known as the “Higher Righteousness”.
Today, many people take the grace and freedom in Christ for lawlessness and licentiousness, banking on a perceived eternal salvation – “once saved, forever saved.” But it is made clear in the Sermon that Jesus, like the prophets of old, demanded the same holy character and acts of obedience. Instead of relaxing God’s moral standard and requirement, He virtually expanded and deepened it.
The Venerable Dr Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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