“You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end” (vv. 25–27).- Psalm 102:15–28
All people are looking for security in this ever-changing world. Some people seek refuge in the arms of another, investing all of their hope in the relationships they have with others. Many individuals place their trust in the government, believing that the leaders of their country can give them permanent safety from all ills. Still others trust in their bank account balance, thinking that they will be safe and sound if they can just sock away a sufficient sum.
Yet what could be more foolish than putting one’s hope in that which is unable to bear it? Other people will fail us. Governments rise and fall. A financial crisis could wipe out all of our savings. None of these, or anything else in creation, can give us the security for which we long. Only the One who is not subject to change is able to provide us with the safety we need.
The author of Psalm 102 recognized this truth, which is why in the midst of his suffering and insecurity he turns to the Lord. As we see in this hymn, it is the psalmist’s sound understanding of the character of God that sustains him as he walks through the gauntlet of trials and tribulations. How can he be confident that the Lord will finally have pity on Zion (v. 13)? How is he sure that the Creator will build up Zion and hear the prayer of the destitute (vv. 16–17)? From where does his assurance that the nations will worship the God of Israel come (vv. 18–22)? The answer to all of these questions is the same: from his understanding that the Lord God Almighty never changes. And if God never changes, then His promises to redeem His people can never fail (2 Tim. 2:13).
The psalmist reveals the unchanging nature of God by comparing Him to those aspects of creation that seem the most permanent—the heavens and the foundation of the earth. All these will pass away, but God Himself will remain ever the same (Ps. 102:25–28). The message to us is clear—only the Creator can make us secure and save us to the uttermost. John Calvin comments, “What are the changes which the whole world undergoes but a kind of presage, yea a prelude of destruction? If the whole frame-work of the world is hastening to its end, what will become of the human race? If all nations are doomed to perish, what stability will there be in men individually considered? We ought therefore to seek stability no where else but in God.”
Scripture frequently compares God to a rock, and with good reason. Rocks are strong and stable, and so is our Lord. But that is where the similarity ends. For even rocks are subject to the changes wrought by erosion and other natural phenomena. But our Maker cannot change or be changed. He is the only security in which we can trust without reservation. He alone is fully dependable. Truly, we are blessed to know that God never changes.
Passages for Further Study