#3 Praising Though Clouds,  French Cloud

Our daughter’s family is vacationing in Europe.  She sent a photo to David’s phone, a picture of puffy white clouds in a bright blue sky over the Loire valley in France.  That’s where so many of the 16th century chateaux are located.  The text said, “Clouds for Ellen.”  If I write about those clouds, I’ll have to write as Ellen and NOT as Hattie and Beth.  French clouds reminded me of years ago when I was in Normandy.  That area is so close to the ocean, that the clouds change every moment with the winds blowing inland from the sea.  God doesn’t change.     

Seasons change.  My roommate and I were foreign students, and we would walk to the university by way of either side of the chateau built by William of Normandy before 1066.  We watched for the last rose of summer in a neighbor’s garden.  The rose bloomed until the first week of December.  Darker skies, flying snowflakes.  God doesn’t change.

                                                                                                                                                                          Scripture tells us in James 1:17, “Every good and…perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shadow due to change.”  (…due to a shadow of turning.)  KJV and RSV     God doesn’t change.     

Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”    God doesn’t change.

                                                                                                                                                                              But, some would say, God changes His mind.  Yes, but that is not the same as changing His character.  God, Himself, does not change.   God may change His mind.  In Exodus 32:9-14, God sees the children of Israel in the desert as a “stiff-necked” people and desires His wrath to be against them, but Moses speaks to God and reminds Him of his promises to Abraham and Isaac, and “the Lord repented of the evil which (H)e thought to do to (H)is people.”  32:14. God doesn’t change.

At the end of I Samuel chapter 15, God said to Samuel that He regretted making Saul king of Israel.  Saul had disobeyed God, and God wished to give the kingdom to Saul’s neighbor, but in the end, He did not.  God doesn’t change.

In the book of Jonah, the wicked people of the city of Nineveh repented and turned to God.  The city was not destroyed (though Jonah wished God had destroyed it.)  God doesn’t change. 

And in Micah, God is so displeased with Samaria and the northern kingdom of Israel that He gives a whole list of misfortunes He will bestow upon them, but a remnant is saved, and the promise of a Messiah is given.  God doesn’t change.

So, God can change His mind, but He never changes Himself, His character.  Years ago, I heard about choosing one of the characteristics of God and making that word somewhat of a symbol for worship.  Of course, He is all-present, all-knowing, all-powerful; He is eternal, He is love, light, forgiving, merciful, a promise keeper; He is truth; God is holy, good, infinite, righteous, and sovereign; He is jealous.  Pick an attribute of God, and as you focus on that characteristic, praise Him.  I suppose, because my name means “light,” I chose Light as my special praise word.  Christ Jesus stepped out of Light of Heaven to come down to the darkness of the world, to save us and show us how to live and love.  Praise His Holy Name.