Read: Isaiah 55:8-9, Hebrews 13:8
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Does God ever change God’s mind? That’s a good question. I love good questions, even the unanswerable ones – they help me grow.
Most theologians believe that God, as Creator of all that is, is beyond the bounds of time and space. God experiences time and space differently than we do. We are caught in a linear flow of time, like someone in a canoe paddling down the river to a lake perhaps. The canoeist only sees what’s within his/her range of vision. Both the moment and the location are limited (moving slowly along). God experiences the river very differently: God is there with the canoeist, AND at the end of the river (and every point in between). Here’s where it gets harder: God is probably both within time and outside of time. So, God is with us “in the moment” and God is with us (already?) in eternity. God doesn’t have a fixed reference point. That’s how God “knows” the future. So, back to our canoe – let’s say that there is a fork in the river and the canoeist must decide which way to go, right or left? It is a “real time” decision for the canoeist, but what about from God’s perspective? God already knows which branch of the river the canoeist will choose. And, from God’s point of reference – God is already welcoming the canoeist at the end of the river.
Too deep? Let’s answer the question. There are places in the Bible where God appears to change God’s mind. That’s how it appears from our viewpoint in the canoe. Yet, what seems like a change of direction or attitude or thought on God’s part, may simply be a “bend” in the river. So, yes, from our perspective God changes God’s mind – the prophets gave warnings to the nations (Israel and Judah) to repent or destruction and judgement would come upon them. Sometimes the changes occurred, and God’s judgment didn’t occur. Sometimes the people refused and judgement came. In Jeremiah 3:8 God divorces Israel – but that’s not the end of the story. Just a few verses later God wants to recommit (3:12). Deuteronomy 24:1-4 says that a man cannot remarry a woman he has divorced – but God’s love is steadfast and everlasting, and “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). We make a mistake if we elevate “the law” over mercy, grace and love. We fail to grasp the way of Christ when we weigh judgment over God’s will for redemption.
Pastor Rob Nystrom