Numbers 23:19 – Can God change His mind?

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Numbers 23:19)

Those who believe in Jesus will be viewed as Righteous and raptured before the Great Tribulation. We can Trust God to keep His promises, just like Abraham, Job and Moses did. We have an unchanging God, but for some, the below verses can be misconstrued to suggest a changing God, but here is my point of view on this:

And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. (Exodus 32:7-10) KJV

 And how is it that God would repent after receiving a plea from Moses? as below:

And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. (Exodus 32:11-14) KJV

The above verses might appear to show a God that changes His mind (just as God appears to do so elsewhere in the Bible such as when Abraham pleaded with God to save the righteous in Sodom). But lets think for a moment. With a little thought we can see this actually shows a God that is very true to His character, has a perfect consistency and does not change His mind at all and keeps His promises.

Lets assume God would have consumed the Hebrews (God is like an all consuming fire). Does that mean His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to create a great nation is broken? I think not at all. In my own reasoning I believe God was indicating He could create His special nation through Moses and because Moses is descended from them all; there is no broken promise.

The Hebrews had literally just made a covenant with God willingly! Yet within 40 days they already broke this new relationship and it just shows that with sin reigning that, God’s relationship with man will never change until the Messiah came. God did not desire to destroy the Hebrews, His desire is to save us all. He desires a relationship with us all. However God is a Righteous God and a Holy God, He hates sin and sin must be dealt with. So to consume the Hebrews would have been perfectly right just as it was right to do so in Sodom, just as it was right in Noah’s day. This is in keeping with God’s character. However, consuming them would not have put an end to sin once and for all. (which is what Jesus achieved). However, by Grace through Faith God is Merciful to us. All that was required is one man of Faith to pray to Him – for Mercy, and God can respond with His Grace. Without petition there is nothing for God to respond to, there would be no relationship because the Hebrews were already worshipping an idol including Aaron. God wants a relationship but Only Moses and perhaps less than a few had not strayed.

Ezekiel 14:12-14

The word of the Lord came again to me, saying: 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. 14 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God.

God would be justified in consuming the multitude. But what God was looking for was an intercessor to step in because Jesus had not yet come. God’s perfect plan made it so that Moses will be there to make His petition for them – so Grace can abound. It was God’s perfect timing and God’s own plan – and a testimony to Moses who with a good heart reacted out of freewill, unselfishly for others. He made intercessory prayer and offered himself as a willing sacrifice by requesting to be blotted out of the book of life – for the sake of the Hebrew multitude, and also for all of us. It might be that at this precise moment in time Moses stood alone in being deemed Righteous through God’s eyes. I will remind us again, today we have Jesus who is our intercessor and now all who believe in Him are viewed as Righteous, all who believe in Him will be saved – but not by our own Righteousness, it is God’s.

God bless