Archive for the 'Prophet Sharing' Category

Divine Change

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Today’s scripture: Jonah 3:1-10 (ESV–text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts (Tammy Mills):

Today’s reading really seems to be making the point, that because the people of Nineveh repented, God decides to change God’s mind. Is that really possible?

I went on a little search to see if there were other instances of God changing God’s mind. Much to my surprise there were several.

Exodus 32:11-14 tells me that Moses pleaded to God for mercy on the people of Israel. God heard Moses’ plea and scripture says “And the Lord changed “his” mind about the disaster that God planned to bring on his people.”

What about Abraham pleading for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah? God seems to keep changing God‘s mind about how many righteous people had to be found in order to save the city. (Genesis 18:16-33)

Mark 7:24-30 tells us Jesus changed his mind. He wasn’t going to heal a women’s daughter because she wasn’t Jewish, but the woman was able to persuade Jesus to heal her daughter.

These scriptures lead me to believe God’s mind can be changed — but what about the scriptures that tell me God is unchangeable:

Malachi 3:6; “For I, the Lord, do not change”

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and Omega” says God, who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.

So which is it? Does God ever Change God’s mind? I don’t have any idea. I am more confused than when I started this passage. I don’t mind living in a state of confusion. I figure God is way bigger than me and I like knowing there is an air of mystery around God.

But consider this:

A few days ago, my youngest daughter wanted to wear her “Dance Ball” shoes to school. They were way too fancy for school, so I told her no. She didn’t like the answer much, so she kept on asking. I told her my word was “FINAL”. I knew that she was really disappointed, but as a mom I also knew those shoes could be dangerous at school.

On Sunday, she asked if she could wear the “Dance Ball” shoes. I thought for a moment and then said yes. I knew she would be a bit more careful wearing them at church and I would also be there to stop her if she was running in the shoes.

I am sure she thinks she changed my mind when it comes to wearing the “Dance Ball” shoes. She didn’t really change my mind, what did change were circumstances and some things that she didn’t understand.

Perhaps that is how it is with God. It may seem as though we change God, but perhaps that’s just our own child-like (childish?) understanding. There’s likely more to the story than we know.

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: All who are involved in military actions around the world that may put them in harm’s way.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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