Does God Change His Mind?

One of the themes in the latest Journal is about UCG first voting to move to Texas and the next year voting to not move.  The question seems to have come up at least a couple of times in this issue, “Did God change His mind?”

First of all, I don’t want to come across as implying that it is a stupid question, because it is not.  It is a valid question in my mind.  Whether or not you agree with my answer, don’t think I’m knocking the question itself.  What I do want to ask, though, is it the right question?  Even if it is the right question, it is certainly not the only question.

We should always look to the Bible for answers.  Sometimes the answers are not very direct.  However, there is one example in the Bible that I do believe is directly applicable.

And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;

That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.

And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.

And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying,

Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?

Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.

In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?

Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:

And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.

Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,

And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.

And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

~ 2Sa 7:1-17

So, did God change His mind here?  After all, Nathan was a prophet — someone through whom God spoke.  So, did God change His mind?

Of course, the UCG COE is not a group of prophets.  However, that only strengthens my point.  If Nathan the prophet can bless David and be wrong, then why can’t an entire council of elders vote and be wrong?

What matters is not that Nathan was originally wrong or that UCG voted wrong, but that they sought God for guidance.  God will guide people if they do not stop seeking His will.  Who knows?  Maybe Texas is the right place, but the timing is all wrong.  Maybe it’s just plain time to stay in one spot for a while.  God doesn’t reveal everything to people all at once.

0 Comments

  1. I see several scriptural examples of God changing his mind.

    He was persuaded by Moses (although I guess some could challenge this interpretation) not to destroy Israel for all its sins.

    He gave a king 15 more years of life, after sending a prophet to warn the king was about to die.

    He allowed Nineveh extra years as a nation, after Jonah put it "on the clock" with a prophetic warning.

    And through Jesus, God apparently changed His mind about the method for keeping the Passover.

  2. I see several scriptural examples of God changing his mind.

    He was persuaded by Moses (although I guess some could challenge this interpretation) not to destroy Israel for all its sins.

    He gave a king 15 more years of life, after sending a prophet to warn the king was about to die.

    He allowed Nineveh extra years as a nation, after Jonah put it "on the clock" with a prophetic warning.

    And through Jesus, God apparently changed His mind about the method for keeping the Passover.

  3. I see several scriptural examples of God changing his mind.

    He was persuaded by Moses (although I guess some could challenge this interpretation) not to destroy Israel for all its sins.

    He gave a king 15 more years of life, after sending a prophet to warn the king was about to die.

    He allowed Nineveh extra years as a nation, after Jonah put it "on the clock" with a prophetic warning.

    And through Jesus, God apparently changed His mind about the method for keeping the Passover.

  4. John D Carmack

    People have debated the question of whether or not God changes His mind for centuries. Since we are limited by time, something that God created, we don't see things as He does. Given that, what does it even mean to change One's mind?

    In spite of the potential for interesting discussion, though, I'm going to press the point is it the right question to ask in this instance? In the example I gave, Nathan made some assumptions and did not have all knowledge. God did not change His mind in that example, but Nathan spoke without knowledge. Couldn't it be argued that the COE made some assumptions that were later questioned?

  5. John D Carmack

    People have debated the question of whether or not God changes His mind for centuries. Since we are limited by time, something that God created, we don't see things as He does. Given that, what does it even mean to change One's mind?

    In spite of the potential for interesting discussion, though, I'm going to press the point is it the right question to ask in this instance? In the example I gave, Nathan made some assumptions and did not have all knowledge. God did not change His mind in that example, but Nathan spoke without knowledge. Couldn't it be argued that the COE made some assumptions that were later questioned?

  6. John D Carmack

    People have debated the question of whether or not God changes His mind for centuries. Since we are limited by time, something that God created, we don't see things as He does. Given that, what does it even mean to change One's mind?

    In spite of the potential for interesting discussion, though, I'm going to press the point is it the right question to ask in this instance? In the example I gave, Nathan made some assumptions and did not have all knowledge. God did not change His mind in that example, but Nathan spoke without knowledge. Couldn't it be argued that the COE made some assumptions that were later questioned?

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