Before the Christmas season started, we were looking intently into several verses in the Old Testament that speak of change – or, actually, lack of change. We spent some time on Psalm 55: 19 and the several English translations of that verse which vary in their descriptions or attributions of changelessness. In some of the translations the changelessness is attributed only to God. In others the idea expressed is that the people – David’s enemies – don’t change their minds. In other words, the changelessness is internal and mental and the work of the individual will.
But the King James Version – “they have no changes” – leaves open the possibility that the changelessness may not solely be within the individual but may refer to the person’s environment or circumstances.
The idea that men and women may become complacent and forget their need for God because of tranquil circumstances is certainly found elsewhere in the Bible. We looked at this passage in Jeremiah:
11 “Moab has been at ease from his youth
and has settled on his dregs;
he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel,
nor has he gone into exile;
so his taste remains in him,
and his scent is not changed.
12 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I shall send to him pourers who will pour him, and empty his vessels and break his[c] jars in pieces. 13 Then Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.
Here the reference is to Moab’s circumstances – its then recent history. The Moabites had not been subjugated or driven from their land. There had been no exile. The idea here is that the Moabites had become comfortable and complacent because of the regularity or tranquility of their lives. All was peace and prosperity.