A Pastors Perspective, Does God Change His Mind?


By, Mike Upchurch

Does God Change His Mind?

Well, for me, the answer to that question is a simple and direct one.

No. Further, I don’t believe God has ever changed His mind.

I can already imagine many of you Bible Scholars scrambling to turn to passages where it’s apparent to you that He did in fact change His mind. Stories of King Hezekiah and the City of Nineveh are examples you will be quick to cite. But those recounts don’t convince me at all that the Lord vacillates. As a matter of fact, I can use those examples as a way of proving my point. This conclusion doesn’t come about from years of exhaustive scriptural studies and in lengthy discussions with renowned Scholars, but rather time spent with Him and time studying the attributes and the character of the Lord.

As I have said many times in previous columns, God knows everything today that He will know tomorrow. He is all knowing. He wouldn’t be God if that weren’t so. There are countless examples in the Bible of His Omniscience. All the prophecy’s concerning Jesus are certainly proof as you examine them in detail. The prophet Isaiah tells of Jesus so accurately that it seems he is writing months after the fact rather than 700 years before. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, King David wrote in great detail of Jesus’ crucifixion in Psalm 22. Micah said Jesus would come from Bethlehem. In chapter 22 of Luke, Jesus tells His disciples that when they enter Jerusalem, they will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water who will lead them to the house which has an upper room, so they might prepare for the Passover Meal. How could He so accurately predict who they’d meet and what he’d be carrying unless the Holy Spirit had told Him in advance?

There are many other such examples to underscore my point that God knows what will happen in the future, and that He knows everything today that He will know tomorrow. So when we examine instances where it seems the Lord did change His mind and do an about-face, let’s look at them in light of the fact He already knew how events would turn out

For example, He knew that Nineveh would repent. Keep in mind, the Lord’s actions are written from the perspective of the Author of Jonah. He sent Jonah to preach repentance to the people or else they would face the wrath of God. If He doesn’t send the prophet, there would never be any repentance on the part of the residents nor the King, because they didn’t even know God was angry. It wouldn’t be fair to destroy them without warning, so in His compassion He sent Jonah to allow them to repent and then pardoned them.

As to King Hezekiah, let’s examine the account found in Isaiah…

“In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.'” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD,” and said, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. “Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying, “Go and say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭38:1-6‬

It’s important to note that Isaiah told Hezekiah that He would die from his sickness. Think about that. If Isaiah hadn’t told him he would die, He never would have prayed to live, and God would never have been able to grant him 15 more years! Once again proving the Lord knew the future for Hezekiah and He knew what He intended to do! There’s nothing in any of the ancient writings that indicate the Lord changed His mind about Hezekiah dying. He merely told Isaiah to tell Hezekiah “I will add fifteen years to your life.” Something He wouldn’t have done if Hezekiah hadn’t prayed. How would you know to pray to live if you didn’t know you would die? The point is God knew that Hezekiah would pray, so the Lord telling him through Isaiah that he would die set the stage for God to heal him and grant him 15 more years.
I simply do not believe Hezekiah’s prayers changed the mind of God, when in fact God was the One who initiated the plan to perform the miracle!

So if God doesn’t change His mind, why is that important for us to know? Well for one, we have His assurance that His promises are just that; steadfast unchanging promises from a steadfast, unwavering, benevolent God! He will never go back on them! He’ll never change His mind about you and your living eternally with Him either! Secondly, if He already knows we’re going to mess up tomorrow, then He won’t be surprised by it, or angry about it, or disappointed in us. He won’t be surprised and that’s a relief because it assures us He will not revoke our salvation based on our sins, because He in fact knew what we would do! Make sense?
It’s like watching a favorite old movie you’ve seen many times. You know what’s going to happen, yet still you enjoy it when you see it again. It’s no different for God. It gives Him pleasure to watch our lives and future unfold before Him.

So be assured that you can indeed come boldly to the Throne of Grace as you’ll be welcomed with open arms! That welcome is not based on what you’ve done or haven’t done, but rather Christ’s finished work on the cross! So relax and know that He loves you anyway in spite of your mistakes and that He will always love you! How can I declare that? Because I know that He won’t change His mind about it!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike