December 8, 2023 at 4:15 pm #23813pastorderrickKeymaster
Use an example of the different places in the Bible where it is clearly stated or suggested that God changed His mind concerning something He had done or decided to. Reconcile this with the unchanging nature of God.
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December 11, 2023 at 3:31 pm #23861PaulprazeParticipant
GOD’S CHANGE OF MIND CONCERNING SOMETHING HE HAD DONE OR DECIDED TO DO
It has been thoroughly established in the course of this lecture that God is immutable. This means that God cannot change, neither for the better nor for the worse because He is perfect and self-existent. It simply is impossible for our heavenly Father to experience change. He is always the same.
However, it also must be said, that the immutability of God concerns His character, purpose, and promise but His dealings with men or action per time with men may change. This change in His dealings or actions per time with men actually seeks to protect the immutability of His character, purposes and promises and does not contradict it. It also seeks to give mankind the opportunity to experience God as He truly is despite their own mutability. In other words, God adapts to mankind in His dealings with them in order to be unchanging and to give them the chance to experience His unchanging character, purpose and promises. Hallelujah!!! Isn’t our God just wonderful?
An examples of this glorious truth.
One of the most common or popular example of this is found in Genesis 6. Due to man’s state of wickedness, evil and sinfulness, we are told that God “repented” that He made man. This repentance led the event of the flood of Noah’s day.
We know from Scriptures, that God’s purpose for man before time began was for man to be christlike. (Romans 8:28-30, Ephesians 1:3-4, etc.). However, from God’s perspective, the state of man had become too far removed from God’s purpose for man. Therefore, in order for God’s purpose to be preserved and fulfilled, it was necessary for the change of mind and consequent flood of Noah. There are different events or outcomes that may have occurred without the flood, but God, in His wisdom, chose the flood as the best means to preserve and ultimately achieve His purpose for mankind.
Noah found grace in God’s sight. He believed God and therefore received the opportunity from God to be saved by God from the flood alongside anybody else who believed. Hence, God was able to preserve His purpose and gave mankind the chance to experience it.
It is important to mention here, that God’s action of judgement (2 Peter 2:4-6) in this event does not contradict His nature because His judgement is always just and righteous. We may not see or understand it but so nonetheless. His conversation with Abraham in Genesis 18 is a clear proof of this. Abraham, at the end of the day, soon came to know what God already knew about the people of that city, that there was none righteous save Abraham, therefore his destruction of the city was just.
It is also important to note that while this action of God was judgement, it was underpinned by His immutable love for mankind and His purpose (salvation for mankind).
Oh the incredible wisdom of our heavenly Father!!!
December 11, 2023 at 7:41 pm #23864BenParticipant
Oh Hallelujah! Adding to what you shared especially when you talked about God adapting to man in order for him to fulfill his purpose. Yes, God’s change of mind in his dealings with man doesn’t contradict who he is- his essential character from whence we can say that he is unchanging.
The ways of man are like shifting shadows. The strength of man outside God can fail. And so God takes the position of one who wants to relate. However, this would be on his plane and through the sacrifice of Jesus, he got down to our plane( the God who cannot behold iniquity). He took upon himself the sins of men for the purpose of making man his friend. And now, instead of death being the wages of sin… God’s judgment becomes forgiveness and the revelation of his unchanging nature (love) to that man ( who was a terrible sinner) who has now repented and has put faith in Jesus.
This is all about being able to still relate with the changing man yet being unchanging in his nature.
December 15, 2023 at 10:12 pm #23938femionasParticipant
The bible assures us of the following things about God’s unchanging nature. God will not change towards us with his promises. Any seeming change in God’s dealings is from humanity point of view not God. Every time God changed his mind it was in favour of man not against man. The scripture tells us about God relenting or repenting of what he said he would do, each instance is in regard to punishment, it is never a case of God promising to do something ood and then changing his mind. His promises to us will not be broken.
December 11, 2023 at 7:24 pm #23863BenParticipant
God doesn’t change. He is Omniscient (all knowing) and immutable (unchanging). God is perfect. He cannot get better or worse. He said to Moses about Himself, “I am who I am”. That means he cannot change as to his essential character. He cannot gain or lose his attributes as God. Malachi 3:6 says, ” I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob”. God will never be wiser, more loving or more holy than he has ever been. However, there are a number of scriptures to site as an example of God having a change of mind concerning something he planned to do or had done.
These scriptures are as follows:
Exodus 32:14 “So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people. ”
“Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Did he not fear the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, and the Lord changed His mind about the misfortune which He had pronounced against them? But we are committing a great evil against ourselves.”
“The Lord changed His mind about this.
“It shall not be,” said the Lord.”
“When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.”
“If you will indeed stay in this land, then I will build you up and not tear you down, and I will plant you and not uproot you; for I will relent concerning the calamity that I have inflicted on you.”
These scriptures seems to show a God who changes his mind and that is a function of the changing nature of men. God’s desire is for fellowship with man and he becomes relatable not static in his relationship with man. When people sin or repent of sin, God “changes” his mind- for the purpose of relationship with changing men yet he is unchanging.
With the case study of the people of Nineveh, God was not pleased with their sinful way of life and the consequences of their sins was to come upon them except they change. Eventually they repented and God changed his mind towards them unto forgiveness. This provoked Jonah who knew that God will change his mind towards the people once they repented even though he wanted God to punish them.
What do we see in this?
God is unchanging in his nature but will change his mind ( there will be changes and development) in his relationship with his repentant creation (changing men). Thus, we who were once enemies of God, are now his own people. He changed his mind to relate with us when we yielded to his will.
December 15, 2023 at 3:51 am #23929prettyruthParticipant
Let me rephrase your statement “GOD IS UNCHANGING IN HIS NATURE BUT WILL CHANGE HIS MIND”
This statement is strong,… meaning God will repent?
Repentance is changing of ones mind, heart or from ways and God’s mind is fixed, constant and unchanging. He is the Alpha, this indicate He is the beginning and the end, He is the same yesterday today and for ever. He is the creator and He knows all things. God does not have the ability to change is mind, is Impossible.
Or how do you mean? Does it mean man can make God to go back and forth in the cause of changing His mind for man or to meet up with man’s standard/level at the moment? I think more light need to be thrown on this. Thank you
God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
Hebrews 6:17-18 NLT
December 30, 2023 at 9:02 am #24054Soton IselobhorParticipant
Your referring to the fact that God’s desire is fellowship with man has really caught my attention and caused further meditation. The beautiful thing about the truth of God’s dynamism which makes Him relatable to His children at whatever level they may be at, should provoke a deep sense of gratitude in us.
Our God is King over everything, just, holy and righteous. All-knowing and all-powerful and ever present. This God has chosen to be a friend to us all who receive His dear Son as Lord and saviour.
He becomes anything He needs to be at any given time. Serving milk to some and meat to others. Speaking directly to some and having vessels reach some others who haven’t exercised themselves in hearing him directly. Having discipline as one of His love languages.
What a wise and perfect God He is, making all things beautiful in his time. Ecclesiastics 3:11
It is comforting to know that in the midst of the ever-changing world we live in, and in spite of our frailty and susceptibility to change, our God does not change in His perfection, His promises to us and His ultimate purpose for our lives. Isaiah 40:8.
It is even more comforting to know that if and when we His children change, whether for better or worse, He is his infinite wisdom, changes his dealings with us, tweaks the plots here and there with the sole purpose of rerouting us to His ultimate purpose.
Even when we cannot seem to comprehend or appreciate God’s dealings with us, our confidence must be in the fact that the goal post has not moved, and God is ALWAYS GOOD. Psalm 145:9
January 8, 2024 at 3:05 pm #24925PchrisParticipant
Exodus 32 vs 10 ‘Now therefore ,let me alone that my wrath may burn hot against them and i may consume them, and i will make you a great nation. nkjv
After the isrealites responded to God’s faithfulness in delivering them from egypt by making a golden statue to worship and having a party around it.
God confronted Moses on mount sinai and revealed His plans to burn hot and consume the children of isreal. And Moses responded with a plea in verse 11-13
verse 11 ‘ Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God , and said ‘Lord ,why does your wrath burn hot against your people whom you have brought out of the land of egypt with great power and with a mighty hand .’ nkjv
After Moses’ plea ; God relented from the disaster He had spoken of bringing on His people. Looking at the above scriptures , it may seem as though Moses’ plea convinced God to change His mind by reminding Him of something He had said .
This action of God seems to contradict His word in Numbers 23 vs 19 ‘God is not a man that He should lie , nor is He a son of man that He should repent.
Reconciling this with the unchanging nature of God we must understand that God’s plans are unfolding. God is too big to contain in neat ,tidy formulas.
The above scripture indicates that God changed His course of action based on Moses’ plea, but the irony of the story is that in Exodus 32 vs 7 , God is the one who tells Moses to go down and see the situation . Moses didn’t know the people had corrupted themselves, God showed this to him.
Furthermore , the very thing that Moses uses to ‘change God’s mind ‘ is God’s own promise and God of course hadn’t forgotten His promise because He is omniscient.
God had put Moses into a situation so that he would see the problem God already knew about ,remember God’s promises and petition God to change His course of action. Moses’ prayer itself is a result of God’s plan.
GOD PROLONGING KING HEZEKIAH’S LIFE 2KINGS 20 VS 1-6
It happened that at the time King Hezekiah fell terminally ill and God sent His word through His prophet Isaiah that he was going to die, but King Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to God for mercy. God heared his prayers and added 15 more years to his life .
It may seem as though God acted contrary to His word in ‘ Isaiah 55 vs 11 – So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth, it shall not return to me void but it shall accomplish what I please , and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’ nkjv
But reconciling this with the unchanging nature of God , we must understand that we have a God who is relatable and make sense to us . God is not rigid or static, our God is a merciful and compassionate God .
God doesn’t need permission or consultation from anyone to be the God that He is. His word in Romans 9vs15 ‘ for He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion’ . This scripture further affirms the unchanging nature of God.
December 14, 2023 at 8:48 am #23919prettyruthParticipant
Places in the Bible where it is clearly stated or suggested that God changed His mind concerning something He had done or decided to.
Example from the book of Exodus chapter 32 where the children of Israelite rebelled against God by calving an idol for themselves to worship led by Aaron. I believe they chose not to remember the mighty power of the God that brought them out of Egypt. This makes God so angry that He told Moses He was going to destroy them all according to Exodus chapter 32 verses 9 and 10. Then Moses pleaded and intercede on their behalf as said in verses 11, 12, and 13, “So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster He had threatened to bring on His people” (Exodus 32:14(NLT).
The Lord also changed His mind in the case of King Hezekiah’s. In the book of 2kings chapter twenty. Prophet Isaiah son of Amos gave this message to Hezekiah, “This is what the Lord says: Set your affairs in order for you are going to die, you will not recover from this illness. When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and Prayed to the Lord” 2Kings 1, 2. Then as written in verses 4,5 and 6, the Lord changed His mind after King Hezekiah prayed. Hezekiah did not die as said by God, but God healed him and added 15more years for him to live.
In the book of Jonah, the Lord told Jonah to go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim His judgment against it because He has seen how wicked the people are. From the day Jonah entered the city, he made the announcement by God, 40 days from now Nineveh will be destroyed but when the people of Nineveh heard, they repented and prayed to God, God changed His mind and forgive them. He couldn’t destroy the city again as said.
These are but few scriptures were God changed His mind because they are against His nature. God changed His mind because He is a Father of Love. His nature is Love. I didn’t see were God changed his mind to do evil, but love. Even Jonah testify about the unchanging God and His love nature, that was why he initially disobeyed by refusing not going to the City of Nineveh because He knows who God is, God will change His mind because of His nature “love” He is Unchangeable God that does good.
According to the above examples, the children of Israelite, King Hezekiah and the City of Nineveh…..just portray God’s Nature; which is Love towards everyone.
The unchanging nature of God is evidently seen in the Bible. In the Old Testament, God says, “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6). It is also said in New Testament that God is “The Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17). God is immutable, it is impossible for His character or being to undergo any mutation. His power cannot be improved or diminished. He cannot be anything other than perfectly Holy. God our Father remains ever the same. He is the same yesterday and today and for ever (Hebrew 13:8)Hallelujah.
December 15, 2023 at 10:19 pm #23940femionasParticipant
December 30, 2023 at 7:42 am #24053Soton IselobhorParticipant
The Bible records, certain instances where it appears that God changed His mind or changed His course of action based on certain circumstances, actions of men, or events. While these facts suggest a change in God’s actions or decisions, they are hereunder reconciled with the immutability or unchanging nature of God.
Some examples are found in the following scriptures:
a. 2 Samuel 24:16 – God relented from the calamity that was to befall Jerusalem and instructed the angel to “relax his hand”.
b. Jeremiah 18: 10 – God stating that He will change His mind about the good and blessings on Israel if they do evil in His sight.
c. Exodus 32:10-14 – God changed his mind about destroying the Israelites after Moses interceded.
d. Jonah 3:10- God relented from the disaster that He had said He will bring upon the people of Niniveh.
From the examples above, one common fact is the changes and dynamics of human behaviours and intent of heart which in turn necessitates certain consequences. We have a situation where one Supreme and Immutable God with unchanging perfections, purposes and promises, rules and reigns in the affairs of the entire mankind consisting of the “bad the good and the ugly” all susceptible to varying kinds of changes at any and every time.
While God remains unchanging, Henry C. Theisson states that His immutability should not be confused for immobility. He is an active and dynamic God, and of necessity, He changes in His dealings with changing men in order to remain unchangeable in His character and purposes. I’ll briefly consider this discuss under three ambits of God’s immutability.
1. God’s Immutable Character or Perfection: While it may seem that God’s actions changed, His character and nature remain constant. The Bible describes God as Love and as being merciful but also as a just God. These attributes remain constant through all the occasions where it appeared that God changed His mind. A very good example is in His dealings with the children of Israel on their journey to the promise land. The “changes” always reflected God’s response to changing human conditions and His desire to bring about a greater purpose while remaining consistent with His character. Another example is in the story of Jonah, God initially planned to destroy Nineveh due to its wickedness, but when the people repented, God relented from His judgment. This demonstrates God’s responsiveness to the choices and actions of His creation without compromising His nature.
2. God’s Immutable Promises: The example of the Israelites’ journey to the promised land also features here. In spite of everything that happened, actions, consequences and the length years, God’s promise was unchangeable and unbreakable. It came to pass in the most just and righteous manner thus preserving the character of God as well as His revealed promise. God is not man. He watches over His Word to perform it. Numbers 23:19. In Jeremiah 18: 5-10, God Himself made promises and gave all the conditions and variables associated which would depend on whether the people shun evil or not. In Malachi 3:7 God says to the descendants of Jacob, “Return to me and I will return to you”.
3. God’s Immutable Purpose: Flowing from the last example above in Jeremiah 18, one thing is evident. God’s purpose, intent and desire for His people was righteousness and holiness. While God’s actions may appear to change, His ultimate purpose remains consistent throughout Scripture. In spite of all that happened in the Old Testament, how God made a covenant with the Israelites, but due to their disobedience, they had to face consequences, His ultimate plan of redemption and reconciliation was fulfilled through Jesus Christ, demonstrating His unchanging commitment to the salvation, righteousness and holiness of His church.
Conclusively, God made us and therefore knows all the intricacies of our dynamic lives and free choices. God’s character, purpose, love, justice, mercy and His Word have remained and will remain constant and consistent for all time.
January 3, 2024 at 9:52 am #24089WechieParticipant
The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”
3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:
“By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
God’s desire ultimately is that all men be saved. His purpose for man is that man walks in accordance to His ways. The theme of Scripture in summary is Salvation, God restoring man to fellowship and unbroken relationship to Him.
However, it is not in His character to impose on man to choose his plan and purpose for man.
God is both a God of Mercy and of Justice.
Therefore, the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore, He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him. Isaiah 30:18
And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:7-9
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
So, we see consistently that God is a God of Mercy. He is dynamic is His dealings with men in the sense that he is ever ready to listen to man’s plea for mercy. That doesn’t however change the fact that He is a God of Justice.
Like Henry C. Thiessen puts it;
“Immutability is not to be confused with immobility. God is active and enters into relationships with changing men. In these relationships it is necessary for an unchanging God to change in His dealings with changing men in order to remain unchangeable in His character and purposes”. Henry C. Thiessen
In his dynamicity in dealing with Men it’s important to note that His Character and purpose remains unchanged.
Now in the story of Nineveh we see God’s Character retained and yet we see him change His mind about His intended Judgement towards the people of Nineveh simply because He doesn’t shut his ears to a cry for Mercy. He welcomes repentance. He is a Merciful God.
Scripture tells us that the people of Nineveh repented at the Preaching of Jonah .
The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed, a greater than Jonah is here. Luke 11:32
When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. Jonah 3;10
His ultimate purpose for the people of Nineveh was that they repent and be reconciled to Him. It does make sense that God relented from bringing the destruction he had threatened via His messenger Jonah.
Funny that Jonah was offended at the Lord’s compassion, but the Lord’s response to Jonah I believe would have brought a reset to Jonah’s thinking and should do same for us.
But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” Jonah 4:10-11.
See also Jonah 4:1-11.
Our God is Merciful!!!
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