He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
There are lots of verses that tell us God is not changing like Numbers 23:19, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.” Or James 1:7, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
However, we also know God has changed situations such as in Genesis 18 when Abrahan intercedes before the Lord for Sodom and Gomorrah. God goes from destroying the entire city no matter what to agreeing to save it if ten people can be found righteous.
Jeremiah 18:7-10 “7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.”
Jonah is another story where we find God originally going to destroy a city and then changes his mind because the people repent. Jonah 3:10, “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.”
So how do we have an unchanging God that changes?
I recently came up with an idea for this that totally blew my mind.
Whenever the Bible speaks of unchanging, I believe they are talking about God’s character. He is not a lier. His not bi-polar. He is always good, loving and looking out for us. He will not forsake us or leave us. These are what make him him and they will never change.
As far as changing his mind, I am going to stretch your thought process here a little. Stick with me and it is perfectly OK if you don’t agree with me. But here we go…
I have heard people say things like, why should we bother praying God is going to do what he wants anyway. I have heard others talk about predestination, meaning God already knows who is going to be saved and who isn’t so why should we worry about it. Then there is my favorite, we don’t really have freedom of choice because God already knows what we are going to do. If any of these aren’t true, then how can you say God is all knowing? What if I were to tell you, when I say God is all knowing, I think he really knows all the possible outcomes.
Let me step back for a minute. Some of you may know that I am a HUGE Dr. Strange and Flash fan. Recently while watching Dr. Strange for like the millionth time, something the Ancient One said to Dr. Strange got me thinking. She is dying and is talking to Dr. Strange:
The Ancient One: You wonder what I see in your future?
Dr. Stephen Strange: No. Yes.
The Ancient One: I never saw your future, only its possibilities. You have such a capacity for goodness. You’ve always excelled, but not because you crave success but because of your fear of failure.
It reminded me of a character on the Flash, Devoe (or the Thinker). He is always one step ahead of the Flash because he can calculate all the possibilities of the future.
What if God, knows all because he can calculate and see all the possibilities. He knows every possible outcome that could happen depending on how us humans react. We step right, he knows we will end up here. However, if we step left he knows we will end up there. This is why, when Jonah was sent out to Ninevah he was told to tell them unless they change their ways they will be destroyed. They continue down their current path and possible outcome A, they are destroyed. They change and possible outcome B happens; they are saved.
This is why we are called to pray. James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Our prayers intercede. Our prayers change destiny. Our prayers take us down one possibility.
I believe God’s character is unchangeable. However, I believe our prayers can change his mind to another possible outcome. I believe he is all knowing because he literally can calculate and knows every possible outcome for every single thing going on at any given moment in this universe.
What do you think? As I said before, you don’t have to agree with me. I just hope I got you thinking!