When I was at primary school – under 11 – we had assembly most days. There would be a hymn and a short talk, usually from Mr Ward, the Headmaster. One hymn that has never left my head goes like this:
But God changes not;
The power never changes
That lies in His thought:
Chorus: Splendours three, from God proceeding,
May we ever love them true,
Goodness, Truth, and Beauty heeding
Ev’ry day, in all we do.
Truth never changes,
And Beauty’s her dress,
And Good never changes,
Which those two express:
And lovely apart,
These three cannot wither;
They spring from God’s heart:
Some things are screening
God’s glory below;
But this is the meaning
Of all that we know:”
The meaning in this little hymn is lost on many. Yet it’s based on scripture. Hebrews 13:8 to be precise.
I was reminded of it again earlier today when a friend said to me that we should remember the world is changing, and we need to change with it.
That is a lie.
We need to base ourselves on something better than the current whims of the world.
At one point in Holland, tulip bulbs were worth more than houses. Then the world changed and they weren’t any more. In the Roman empire at one point tin was the most valuable metal. Things changed. Through the whole of history only one thing has remained constant. God.
God’s values don’t ebb and flow with the tide of popular opinion. He will always hate Sin, no matter how it is dressed. Even when the world’s view is that it isn’t sin any more.
I remember reading a story of a man in his late 90’s who applied to be re-patriated to England from Australia. He had been in the country for decades, and had never left since his arrival almost 70 years previously. When asked why he now wished to go back to England, he reportedly replied that as a young man when he arrived he was informed the penalty for homosexuality was death, by the time he was 40 it was 20 years hard labour, by 60 it was a fine, and it was legalised a little while after that. When the debate about gay marriage began he decided to leave before it became compulsory…
The world changed, but God didn’t.
Sodom and Gomorrah had the opinion of the modern world regarding sexual sin. God judged them. The Greek and Roman empires both fell as they became more and more obsessed with appearances than substance. Israel fell into the trap more than once in scripture. The world’s views change constantly, like shifting sands. We build on them at our peril.