|Rambling Thoughts Does God Change His Mind|
|The Sovereignty of God Part 2 - Does God Change His Mind?
I have been thinking lately about how different people see the sovereignty of God. All Christians believe God is sovereign. That just means different things to different people, different churches and different denominations. I am not making any dogmatic statements. I am jus writing some rambling thoughts from the last month or so. Some are fond of making very profound statements such as nothing surprises God; there is no plan "B". Godís plan is plan "A" and that is all there is. The implication being God has a plan for you and you are going to do it, no matter what. And all that sounds very spiritual. I understand the statement. I have heard this and similar statements for years. I heard it again a few weeks ago. I think we all agree God is in charge. We just donít agree what that means in my relation to my free will. I think we all agree that God has a plan for our lives. Not only do we not all agree on what that means, sometimes we have things in our individual doctrinal beliefs which actually conflict with other things we believe. We only see them if closely and open mindedly examine them. I know it is easier to pose questions than give answers. Rick Joyner posed this question in one of his daily devotionals. He wrote, "There is an important question many ask. Does the Lord make us into what we should be, or does the bride Ďmake herself readyí?" This question hits at the heart of what we believe about Godís sovereignty.
The plan "A", no plan "B" statement got me to asking this question: Does God ever change his mind? Can God change his mind? Does he ever want or need to do so? I know this is a touchy subject and some even have trouble working it out. Some folks probably even think it is blasphemy to ask. It makes sense to look at what the Bible says about it. I decided I would read through the Bible this year. I got very involved in it and actually read through in six months. I could not help but notice certain statements which occur several times in the Old Testament. Some of them are puzzling to me. One think is for sure. However you interpret these scriptures, what comes from many Baptist, Methodist and Charismatic pulpits seem to conflict with them sometimes.
Here are some of them, emphasis is mine:
The first thing I noticed was Genesis 6:6 speaking of the reason for the flood. It says God was sorry he had made mankind because man was so evil. This can be very puzzling for us.
2 Samuel 24:16 says, "When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, "It is enough! Now relax your hand!"
Amos 7:2-4; verse 3 says the LORD changed his mind about this.
Amos 7:6 says the same thing.
Jeremiah 18:8 speaks of God relenting concerning the calamity he planed to bring on it.
Jeremiah 18:10 says, "If it does evil..........then I will think better of the good which I had promised to bless it."
Jeremiah 26:3 God speaks of relenting.
Jeremiah 36:3 the LORD says perhaps if Judah hears of all the calamity which I plan to bring on them then they will turn from their evil way and the LORD will forgive them.
In the Book of Jonah, God tells Jonah to proclaim through out the city, "Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown." Jonah does not tell them God will destroy Nineveh if they donít repent. He only tells them in 40 days it will be destroyed. Just what God told him to tell the city. Biblically 40 denotes a time of testing. Nineveh does not know that. However they repent and God, according to 3:10, relents concerning his plan to destroy it.
These are only a few references I noticed as I read through. What does all this mean? I know some will say, "God only has plan A. They say plan A says if they donít repent I will do this and if they do repent I wonít. There is still not plan B." Either way you look at it and any way you word it, this would mean Godís course of action is dependent on what people do. That concept certainly offends many folk's concept on the Sovereignty of God.
I am not making any dogmatic statements here. Just offering food for thought. I do know I am somewhat offended and confused when I hear views about Godís sovereignty that conflict with each other from the pulpit. And hear them from the same pulpit from week to week and sometimes in the same message. I know the Bible is without error and working out the details can sometimes be a challenge for us. These Scriptures and others are difficult to fit into what many of us hear preached and what many of us believe.
These are some things I thought about. What do you think? Can we understand the concept of God changing his mind? Or is that beyond our ability to understand what all that means and implies?
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