During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew. Ex. 2:23-25
I can’t help but notice Moses ‘casual and causal manner of speaking about God. God is always one he and the people of Israel can invoke. God can forget. God can remember. This kind of language is throughout his writing. There seems to be only three possibilities: God is capable of change based on our requests, God isn’t and Moses misunderstood His nature, or the text is written to reveal something about God’s nature.
God appears to Moses in a burning bush. Moses asks who to say is calling, “I AM WHO I AM… This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” What God wants to communicate in His Name is that He was, He is, and He always will be. He is timeless.
AW Tozer says, “He never differs from Himself.” Meaning, in His perfection, He can never increase in perfection, become less than perfection, or become anything other than perfection. Further, “He does not keep office hours nor set His mind about anything. Neither does He change His mind about anything.”
I’m not sure about how well Moses understood God but since he had a number of near face-to-face encounters with Him and I haven’t, I’ll take his word over mine. There must be a changing aspect to God.
But is God changing in relation to us or are we changing in relation to Him? In this cosmic dance, is it less like cause and effect and more like the Sun and the Moon? I don’t think I have it all figured out and I don’t think I ever will. How can an Unchanging God seemingly “change” to meet His people? I think that’s the wrong question.
Perhaps the question is: how can His people change to meet Him?
Maybe a reciprocal God is only invoked when we call upon Him.
Maybe a listening God can only hear when we cry out to Him.
Maybe a forgetful God can only remember when we remind Him.
And we are changed.
He remains the same.
Personal God, of the Infinite and Timeless,
Thank You for also being a God of the intimate and temporary–the details of my life. May I turn my heart towards You. Amen.