One word. One time in all of the New Testament. Its context can be discussed by the theologians and those smarter and more learned than this gal but this word has been swimming around in my brain, not rattling, swimming. Floating on its back, enjoying the sunshine on its face, every once in a while rolling over to tread water when it sees I've drifted a little too far from shore.
The English definition according to MW is
"not capable of being changed; impossible to revoke."
The Greek definition of the word ametameletos
".....about which no change of mind can take place, not affected by change of mind....without regret or remorse for an action because it was done from deep conviction (true concern)."
Would you like to know where that word sits among the flowers of God's word?
It's tucked in a verse that really has nothing to at all to do with my present day troubles or concerns and it speaks to me not as Paul intended its readers to understand in regards to his fellow Jews. God's word is funny like that. What is written for one, benefits many.
A verse or a word or a chapter or a book taken without full instruction on Hebrew or Greek, ancient practices and history, jumps across time and rests in the heart of a woman far removed from the original writer or intended Roman readers.
".......for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable."
The words and sentences surrounding these 8 words really are not very comforting for this Gentile as they are written for and about the Remnant of Israel. The truth of these words, especially the longest word - irrevocable - make my heart sing praise to Him who has freed me from the bondage of sin and made my heart clean.
God doesn't take back his gifts. Once he gives a gift, it's for keeps. Once he gives a gift, even to a passive or ungrateful heart, he is bound to himself to never change his mind, never regret, never have remorse that he gave the gift.
Why? Why God? Aren't you ever sorry you made us? Aren't you ever sorry you saved us?
I think his answer would be:
"No, because the gift was given out of true concern for my creation."
He saw us in our sin, and where you or I may leave us wallowing in it until we learned our lesson, God pulled us out, gave us a new heart and said, "It's yours to keep. No returns or exchanges accepted."
He never regrets saving us or calling us out of our sin.
No matter how wicked and evil the times are, he never regrets saving us. We would rather see some serious punishment for some of the evil we are living in and through, instead of the free gift of salvation still available to the most vile offenders. (Like I often, often forget I once was).
But God? Nope. He doesn't regret giving us the gift that will never be taken back.
So, tucked in Romans 11:29, out of complete context for this 21st century woman sitting at her computer with bed hair and great peace, is a singing hope -
for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable
I rest in knowing that his gifts that I so often misuse and abuse and not use, and the call on my life to be who I am, where I am, doing what I do - none of it's a mistake. None of it was done on a whim. The gift God bought for me was not an impulse buy. He put great thought into just the right gift of salvation. He put great thought into just the right place in history where he would put you and me.
And he made both of those irrevocable.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever!