God’s unchanging word: Hope for all – Part 1
• The word of God
Every year The Bible Society of Ghana chooses a theme for the celebration of BIBLE WEEK. This year’s theme is “God’s Unchanging Word: Hope for All”.
It is our pleasure to bring you scriptures chosen for this year and to draw our attention to how the Word of God gives hope to us when we go through life’s challenges. Please let’s enjoy this article and allow it to impact our daily living and share it with others.
We live in a rapidly changing world. Improved technology has made it possible to access information from various parts of the world with the touch of a button, thereby converting our earth into a global village.
Traditional family values are gradually giving way to debatable modern/ post-modern ones and it is not certain how things will turn out in the near and distant future. In some societies, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to identify who is male and who is female; this is obvious from the LGBTQI+ debate which has assumed popularity in recent times.
In addition, we are still confronted with issues such as the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor, corruption and mismanagement of resources, wars, escalating gun violence as well as kidnapping which have resulted in the loss of innocent lives and displacement of people from their original places of abode.
Climate changes emerging from natural and man-made disasters have affected animal and plant habitat and thrown our ecosystem out of gear. COVID-19 also continues to resurface in various forms, and this has devastated economies, complicated international travels, divided communities, and brought uncertainties regarding the future.
Other forms of ailment such as monkey pox and Marbug virus have reared their heads and health facilities are overstretched. The Russia-Ukraine war has also affected the smooth supply of essential commodities such as grain, oil and gas, resulting in soaring prices of goods and services and making life uncomfortable for rich as well as poor nations.
Ghana, for instance, has had to approach the IMF for a bail-out. In the face of these challenges, hope for a better future seems to be dwindling and questions are being raised concerning the purpose of human existence.
Fortunately, the Bible offers us hope in a renewed universe in which God promises through His unchanging Word to make all things new. It shows us ways of experiencing positively transformed lives that can contribute to improving our economic, social and political fortunes and bring us hope even as we serve an unchanging and faithful God whose unchanging Word directs us to things that are of lasting value.
When we study, teach and obey God’s Word, we become channels of hope for groups and individuals who find themselves in situations of hopelessness and uncertainty. God’s will is thereby done on earth as it is in heaven.
1. In the beginning, God’s unchanging Word brought life and order into a lifeless and chaotic creation.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. – Genesis 1:1-3.
2. What God has said in His Word will abide for ever because God Himself is Unchanging, Eternal and Truthful.
Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. – Psalm 119:89-90
A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” – Isaiah 40:6-8.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. – Mark 13:31.
3. We must exercise faith in God whose word assures us that we hope for in terms of positively transformed circumstances, will surely come to pass.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. – Hebrews 11:1-3
4. God’s unchanging word brings hope and vitality into hopelessness and lifeless situations.
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” – Ezekiel 37:1-6
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” – Romans 4:16-18.
5. Obedience to God’s word changes the fortunes of individuals and communities for the better:
• Humankind (through Noah and family) – Genesis 6
• Nations (through Abram) – Genesis 12:1-3
• Families (through Joseph) – Genesis 46-50
To be continued!
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By Dr. Joyce Aryee, the author