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Can God change his Mind?

First of all the literalists say according to Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?", and, in 1st Samuel 15:29: "The Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind."

However, realize that the context is that God has full integrity and will always keep his promises. And that he is a living (and loving God), full of mercy, that has reasoning and may change his mind for the reason of continued holiness without breaking the original promise.

I say this because God shows through examples that he may bless a nation (as long as they are keeping his commandments), or curse a nation (who is not keeping his commandments).

It is his people that always fall short of his expectations.

If he is to bless Israel, his assumption is that they will at least keep his commandments and worship Him who is doing the blessing (and not idols). (It can even be viewed that Israel acted as a harlot, and actually broke the covenant with God when they prostituted themselves in the sense that when a wife commits adultery on the husband, the husband has the right to draw up a divorce).

However we find that when a righteous person intercedes (like Moses did), and reminds God of a covenant, God may change his mind based on intercession. The Jews actually bowed down to a golden calf just after seeing the red sea parted and While Moses was receiving the 10 commandments.

God had every right to destroy the majority of the Jews (and save a tiny remnant to fulfill his original covenant with Abraham), if he wanted to. But because of Moses intercession, he relented.

Our goal today is to go through some of the bible verses dealing with mercy, judgement, and repentance on Gods part, to draw a summary on God's heart (in relation to how we can expect to be judged) and therefore how we should act as a nation.

The Analysis of God's Mercy and JudgementStay Repented
Event DescriptionScriptureNarrativeOutcome
Jews were wandering in the Desert from Egypt to Promised LandExodus 32:14While Moses was receiving the 10 commandments from God on Mt. Sinai,

just after parting the red sea, The Jews made a golden calf and worshiped it. God was so angry, he could have destroyed the majority of the Jews (albeit leaving a remnant for

his covenant), but Moses interceded and he relented.
Judgement Cancelled
Sodom and Gomorrah was wicked, with not even 10 righteous in the land, and they committed sodomy and had no morals standards or ethics. Genesis 19:1God called the righteous out of the land (Lots family), for he does nothing without revealing it to his prophets first (Amos 3:7). Then he rained fire and brimstone down and that city was destroyed.Judgement
Nineveh, approx. 650BC, became evil in the sight of the Lord (their sins had reached heaven Jonah 1:2), and Nineveh was known to be lawless. One book talks of Nineveh approving of murderers and forced incest. God sends his prophet Jonah to warn Nineveh to repent. Jonah 3:2After Jonah warned the city that they had 40 days to repent or be destroyed, the King down to the baby did take the word seriously and all repented. The King also laid in sackcloth and ashes. Judgement Cancelled
God is telling Amos in 750BC through visions how he will destroy the Jews, because, they have committed grave sins: They worshipped Baal and foreign gods (Judges 10:6), they set up sacred pillars to idols (1 Kings 14:23, 2 Kings 17:10), they burned their children in the fire to Molech (Ezekiel 16:20), and abused their grace by rejecting his law. He said the Sanctuaries of Israel will fall, then the house of Jeroboam. Amos 7:7 Amos was prophesying destruction to King Amaziah (about Jeroboam falling by the sword) and his message was rejected. Although Amos convinced God judgement of famine was too harsh (for Jacob is weak), God was still unable to turn from righteous judgement. In 725BC Assyria destroyed Israel, and in 590 BC, the Jews went into captivity into Babylon for 70 years. Judgement
Jeremiah is prophesying 'If they will not hearken to me, to walk in my law which I have set before you', I will make this house like Shiloh, a curse to all nations of the Earth. (609 BC). Jeremiah 26:9The priests and princes wanted to kill Jeremiah for this word. (Similar to how Jehoiakim had Uriah put to death for his warnings). Although

the elders decided Jeremiah should live, and delivered a message from God, in general there was no national repentance. Jeremiah delivered messages of judgement for 40 years to King Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoaichin, and Zedekiah. The primary reason Jeremiahs message failed to reach the people is only one King out the 5 reigning did anything: Only Josiah turned to the Lord with all his might (2 Kings 23:25), the others did very little to tell the people to repent. Therefore, the entire population of Israel was led into Babylonian captivity (as prophesied for 70 years).

Fallen angels came down to the earth and corrupted the seed of men. Women bore giants. Evil was rampant, and mens dealings were not aligned with God's original plan. Genesis 6:1God preached repentance through Noah, and only Noah's family responded by listening to God, and building the ark. The righteous (family of Noah) were saved by God's protection. Judgement
In approx. 32AD, Jesus is telling the Jews he would have gladly gathered them together as King, but (because they rejected him), Behold your house is left unto you desolate.

Matthew 23:37. Not one of these stones shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down (Matthew 24:2). The children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, without a prince, and without a sacrifice, without an image (Hosea 3:4). Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. Zechariah 13:7. (And in the future: He will collect the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the Earth - Isaiah 11:12).

Matthew 23:37After the Jews rejected the Messiah, because they were looking for a King who was not humble and riding in on a donkey, Jesus prophesied they would be scattered to four corners of the Earth and Herods temple destroyed. This happened in 70AD, then in 300AD Rome fell. The Jews lived throughout the world until May 15th 1948, fulfilling this prophecy. Judgement
Related to Tyre and Sidon, in 587BC, after the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchanezzar (start of captivity), Ezekiel had a vision of the capture of Tyre.

Those in Tyre and Sidon laughed and mocked Jerusalem after she was destroyed - you who were the gateway for people, and they had evil plans to plunder Jerusalems spoil of gold and silver.

Ezekiel 26:1Tyre did fall in 330BCJudgement

Promises from God if a nation will repent

Jeremiah 26:3 "Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings."

2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

The desire of God's heart, is that they will repent. They deserve to die for the evil they have done, but God wants them to repent and be saved.

2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."