(a) As illustrations of the varied methods in which God manifests his immutable truth and wisdom in creation.
Mathematical principles receive new application with each successive stage of creation. The law of cohesion gives place to chemical law, and chemistry yields to vital forces, but through all these changes there is a divine truth and wisdom which is unchanging, and which reduces all to rational order. John Caird, Fund. Ideas of Christianity, 2:140 ? ?Immutability is not stereotyped sameness, but impossibility of deviation by one hair?s breadth from the course which is best. A man of great force of character is continually finding new occasions for the manifestation and application of moral principle. In God infinite consistency is united with infinite flexibility. There is no iron-bound impossibility, but rather an infinite originality in him.?
(b) As anthropomorphic representations of the revelation of God?s unchanging attributes in the changing circumstances and varying moral conditions of creatures.
<010606> Genesis 6:6 ? ?it repented Jehovah that he had made man? ? is to be interpreted in the light of <042319>Numbers 23:19 ? ?God is not a man that he should lie: neither the son of man that he should repent.? So cf. I Sam. 15:11 with 15:29. God?s unchanging holiness requires him to treat the wicked differently from the righteous. When the righteous become wicked, his treatment of them must change. The sun is not fickle or partial because it melts the wax but hardens the clay, ? the change is not in the sun but in the objects it shines upon. The change in God?s treatment of men is described anthropomorphically, as if it were a change in God himself, ? other passages in close conjunction with the first being given to correct any possible misapprehension. Threats not fulfilled, as in
<320304> Jonah 3:4, 10, are to be explained by their conditional nature. Hence God?s immutability itself renders it certain that his love will adapt itself to every varying mood and condition of his children, so as to guide their steps, sympathize with their sorrows, answer their prayers. God responds to us more quickly than the mother?s face to the changing moods of her babe. Godet, in The Atonement, 338 ? ?God is of all beings the most delicately and infinitely sensitive.?
God?s immutability is not that of the stone, that has no internal experience, but rather that of the column of mercury, that rises and fails with every change in the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere. When a man bicycling against the wind turns about and goes with the wind instead of going against it, the wind seems to change, though it is
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