““God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
Numbers 23:19 NKJV
“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;”
I Corinthians 11:23 NKJV
So, if God has said something, we are not permitted to change it, twist it, spin it, or even misapply it.
On one level, this is hugely helpful, because we are not at a loss for what God has said and what we’re to do with it. The Bible may be a difficult book, but it is mostly difficult in that hard hearts and inverted minds find it difficult to believe and obey.
When we begin to fudge with the Bible’s absolute truth claims, we find that we have succumbed to the devil’s weighing of our feelings and appetites as greater than God’s unchanging standards. But walking by faith in the God who does not change (James 1:17) means, in part, trusting that what is true is ultimately best, even for us, even if we cannot imagine how. . . .
I find the Sermon on the Mount to be the most frightening portion of Scripture, mainly because as I read it, I begin thinking of all the ways it doesn’t apply to me. I immediately start coming up with all the situations where “turn the other cheek” doesn’t apply. I think of the circumstances in which “going the second mile” might not be the right thing to do, where “giving to those who ask of you” doesn’t mean what it actually says. I want Jesus’ kingdom commands to suit my comfortable assumptions and convenient interpretations. And the minute we start doing this is the minute we begin echoing the serpent’s “Did God really say . . . ?”
May we learn to identify and obey the right voice!