Changes.

May 26, 2014.

I can’t believe that time has passed so quickly on this trip. It seems like we just got to Nicaragua, but in two days the first group of people are going to be leaving for home. I am very glad that I am able to say for four weeks as opposed to two, but the dynamic will be very different. Right now, we have many college students here, and when they leave, they will be replaced by three families from our home congregation. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the people who are coming, but it will be different.

Some people hate change (I have to admit that I am of that camp more often than I probably should be) and some people think change is good. I believe it can go both ways. Abraham’s story has a beginning where change was very good.

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
(Genesis 12:1-3)

One might read this story and think “Well yeah, I’d change too if God promised me all of that!” I think sometimes it can be easy to over look everything that Abraham had to sacrifice in order to follow this commandment. When God told him to leave his country, he was telling him to leave the only life he had ever known. He was to leave his friends, family and fortune. That would be tough for any of us to do, especially if we weren’t told where we were going. But the record says that Abraham went, and he was blessed for it this. This is a good example of change that is good.

But change is not always good. Any change that man makes to the word of God is a bad thing. The Jews seemed to have a knack for doing this by the time that Jesus entered the world. They thought they were following God, but in reality they had just made up their own thing. Listen to the words of our Lord:

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
(Matthew 15:1-9)

What the Jews had done was taken the word of God and changed it. Really what they had done was added on to it. We read in the last chapter of the book of revelation that anyone who adds to the word will have the plagues added to him. This kind of change is bad. We need to be careful when it comes to the word of God and what He wants us to do, because I don’t think that we are so much more knowledgable now that we cannot make the same mistakes the scribes and the Pharisees.

All in all, change can be a good or a bad thing (or indifferent I suppose), depending on the situation. We must remember that the word of The Lord does not change, nor does He , though. He is the supreme leader of all created things, and he has all authority over every one. To God be all the glory, Amen.

“For I the LORD do not change;”
(Malachi 3:6a)

Suggested Daily Reading: Genesis 12, Malachi 3, Matthew 15, Revelation 21.

The Lord grant you wisdom.

-Walter

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