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Sunday, March 20, 2011

What does "immutable" mean?

Do you ever catch yourself musing about something? Like when you have a few
quiet moments and your mind just sort of begins to ponder about something?
Ok, maybe you don't, but I find myself doing this quite often. Usually after
I've heard a peculiar comment or statement that sends my brain into a
pondering mode and somewhere in its catacombs it connects with other
pondered thoughts and before long I've mused myself into an editorial. That's
exactly the case at hand today.
The peculiar statement that set my mind on its path of "ponderment" (I like
to invent new words whilst in this mode) was a comment by one of our more
astute congress people who said today: "The budget isn't about money." I'm
sorry, but for all my pondering and musing, I couldn't think of anything
that relates to a budget that isn't about money in some form or fashion.

Old Noah Webster defines a "budget" as an allotment of assets or funds based
upon a certain or a limited amount. Sure, we can budget items, sort of like
husbanding our supplies or resources, but that still relates to costs and
costs relate to funds. As it's many times said, when one gets to the bottom
line, it's the money.
But, you know what? When it comes to man's way of doing things, especially
in the realm of politics, there is nothing that can't be changed or at least
rearranged somehow. There is hardly anything relative to life on this earth
or the way in which man operates that is unchangeable. We live with the
knowledge that everything we're familiar with in life changes. Nothing stays
the same. You know, maybe that's a certainty - things do and will change.

Of course, we've heard all of our lives that there's only two certain things
and those are "death and taxes." Well, I'll go along with that, but I'll add
one other thing that I'll attest to as being certain and that is, and I don't
care who you are, you'll never win an argument or debate with your mother.
Nor does it matter what the subject matter of the argument is, you're not
going to win.

When my mother was alive, and over our many years together, I had many
arguments with her and never did I consider myself victorious. You see, my
mother (as do all mothers) had/have the ultimate comeback, the ultimate
answer for every argument. When I had offered all of my brilliant positions
and thought that I had her backed into the corner, she pulled out her trump
card and hit me with it: "I changed your diapers!" Where are you going to go
from there? End of debate.
Well, I said all of that to get to something that I had read in the Bible
that is one of those "previously pondered thoughts" that was residing in the
catacombs of my mind and connected with my current pondering about the
congresswoman's comment about the budget. Let me direct you to my Bible
passage and thought and we'll ponder it together.

In the sixth chapter of Hebrews, verses 17 and 18 is a word used only this
once in the whole Bible. That word is "immutable" which, grammatically
speaking is an adjective that means "unchangeable." We also see in that
passage the word "immutability" which means the same thing. The writer of
Hebrews is telling us that something does not change. It is something that
literally cannot change.
Actually the writer tells us that there are two things that we can count on
to never change. Two things that will, for all eternity, be something that
can be counted on to always be permanent and changeless. Or, as the writer
said, are "immutable." And we know that for something to be forever
changeless, it cannot be of this world, can it?

No, they are not anything relative to or part of this earth. Those two
things are of God: His "promise" and His "oath." Why don't we just read that
passage together: "God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who
received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his
mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are
unchangeable (immutable) because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore,
we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to
the hope that lies before us." (NLT)

Let me just ask you a simple question. Is there anything in this life, on
this earth or about this earth in which you can have total confidence?
Confidence that they will never change? The simple answer to that simple
question is - NO! Change happens to everything, be it subtle or drastic. For
a subtle example, look at a picture of yourself taken 20 years ago (or less)
and one taken today. For a drastic example we only have to look at
Christchurch, New Zealand and Japan. Do you think anyone in either of those
locations expected a change of that nature?

What a wonderful thing to know, to be aware of. That there is something that
is not subject to changing. That is there and fixed. Or, as the writer puts
it, is "immutable." The "promise" that everyone who has "fled to Him for
refuge" IE: has been obedient to the Gospel of Christ and in so doing has
"laid hold on eternal life" (1Tim. 6:12) can be sure of "that hope that lies
before us."

I just wish that everyone would understand that, despite my tongue-in-cheek
comments about death, taxes and mothers, there is nothing "immutable" on
this earth. It is only with God and His Word and His promises that we find
"immutability."

Ron Covey

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