For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
I am the Lord, I change not. Man had changed toward God, not in mere relations, but in spirit and purpose. God had been therefore compelled to alter his relations towards men; and his ways of dealing with them; but this must never be assumed to involve any change on the part of God's feeling towards them. These whom he loves he loves with an everlasting love. In the motive of his dealings he is "the same yesterday, today, and forever." Reference here is directly to the purpose to save Israel. No matter what the appearances of things might be, that purpose had never been changed, and never would be. "Because it is the Eternal's unchangeable will that the sons of Jacob, his chosen ones, should not perish as a nation, he will purify them by the eradication of the wicked among them, that the remnant may return to their allegiance."
I. MAN'S HOPE IN THE CHANGEABLENESS OF GOD'S ADAPTATIONS. Changeableness is not altogether the appropriate term, but it is required for the sake of contrast. If God's ways with us were ordered by fast and unvariable rules, we should lose all sense of personal feeling, personal relations, and personal adaptations. Adjustment to individuals upon exact knowledge of individuals, and adjustment to circumstances upon exact knowledge of circumstances, are the very glory of God. It is because of this Divine characteristic that we would rather fall into the hands of God than into the hands of men. If set rules had been worked without qualification or exception, then many a time Israel must have been abandoned or destroyed. Men make so much of being under the "reign of law;" but that is precisely what we had better not be. It is a truly awful regime. There is no considerateness, no pity, no adaptation, in it. Far better that we are in the personal rule of a Divine and infinitely loving Lawgiver.
II. MAN'S HOPE IN THE UNCHANGEABLENESS OF GOD'S PRINCIPLES. The Divine adaptations are always within the limitations of the Divine principles. We can never be sure that our fellow man does not change through weakness, and risk principles in making change. We may have perfect confidence that God never does. "Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" True to his word; but only speaking words that express eternal principles. The point of the text is, that God's unchangeableness guarantees Israel's security, and God's changeableness guarantees Israel's disciplining and refining. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.