What profundity of richness, what mind and exalted wisdom is God’s. What compassionate kindness and abundant goodness belongs to the Creator! With what purpose and with what love did He create this world and bring it into existence! What a mystery does the coming into being of this creation look towards! To what a state is our common nature invited! What love served to initiate the creation of the world! This same love which initiated the act of creation prepared beforehand by another dispensation the things appropriate to adorn the world’s majesty which sprung forth as a result of the might of His love.
In love did He bring the world into existence; in love does He guide it during this its temporal existence; in love is He going to bring it to that wondrous transformed state, and in love will the world be swallowed up in the great mystery of Him who has performed all things; in love will the whole course of the governance of creation be finally comprised. And since in the New World the Creator’s love rules over all rational nature, the wonder at His mysteries that will be revealed then will captive to itself the intellect of all rational beings whom He has created so that they might have delight in Him, whether they be evil or whether they be just. With this design did He bring them into existence, even though they among themselves have made, after their coming into being, this distinction between the just and the wicked. Even though this is so, nevertheless in the Creator’s design there is none, from among all who were created and who have come into being—that is, every rational nature—who is to the front or to the back of God’s love. Rather, He has a single equal love which covers the whole extent of rational creation, all things whether visible or invisible: there is no first place or last place with Him in this love for any single one of them, as I have said.
And just as there is not a single nature who is in the first place or last place in creation in the Creator’s knowledge—I refer here to this knowledge which was set in His purpose eternally, that He would bring them into being: it was not the case of His knowing one before or after another, but all of them equally without any before or after, in a twinkling of an eye—similarly there is no before or after in His love towards them: no greater or lesser amount of love is to be found with Him at all. Rather, just like the continual equality of His knowledge, so too is the continual equality of His love; for He knew them all before they ever became just or sinners. The Creator and His love did not change because they underwent change after He had brought them into being, nor does His purpose which exists eternally change. And if it were otherwise, He would be subject to change just as created beings are—a shocking idea.
My brethren, if there is anyone to whom these things are difficult to believe, he should be careful lest, by running away from one element in the argument he fall into blasphemy at another: imagining that he is spurning the words of a fellow human being, he may find himself arming himself against what concerns the divine Nature, being forced by the logic of his case to reduce the glorious Nature of his Creator to weakness and change.
But we know that everyone is agreed on this, that there is no change, or any earlier and later intentions, with the Creator: there is no hatred or resentment in His nature, no greater or lesser place in His love, no before or after in His knowledge. For if it is believed by everyone that the creation came into existence as a result of the Creator’s goodness and love, then we know that this original cause does not ever diminish or change in the Creator’s nature as a result of the disordered course of creation.
St Isaac of Nineveh