Can man change God's mind?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by SimpleMan, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. SimpleMan

    SimpleMan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    I read inother posts, that God is unchangeable and He cannot and will not be changed by anything that we, humans, do. People have said that prayer does not change God's mind but He changes us by changing our will. I do believe God is unchangeable in the aspect of His righteousness. That will never change. But our prayers, I believe, have a great influence on God's decisions.

    There are several instances in the OT where God repented or relented from doing something because he was approached by man.
    One example: Exodus 32:14 And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. (This was after Moses spoke / prayed to God) God had already made his mind up to destroy the children of Isreal until Moses interceded. They reasoned together and God changed His mind. A lot of people don't seem to like the fact that God loves us so much, that He's willing to reason with us and listen to us...Go figure.
    Exodus 33:17 And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
    Sounds to me like God was not only listening to man but was doing what man asked of Him.
    I feel sorry for people who feel and believe that God doesn't listen to them.
    I truly believe that the sincere prayers of a believer and follower has a lot of influence on the decisions that God makes. Doesn't mean that He always does what we ask, but I believe He takes everything into consideration. Ultimately, He's going to do whatever He wants to do, but to say that our prayers don't affect his decision making is unbelievable. He even listens to us when it's not in our best interest. Just look at when Isreal wanted a king. God knew that wasn't in the best interest of Isreal, but because they asked, He gave them a king and later on in the scripture, God changed his mind about Saul.
    1Samuel 15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the Lord repented (regretted) that he had made Saul king over Isreal.

    Also, in 2 Kings 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
    20:2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying,
    (Hezekiah prays and in verse 5 and 6, God changes his mind and decides to heal Hezekiah and adds 15 years to his life all because of Hezekiah asked. )


    What's your thoughts on this subject. Does God listen to man? Can man influence God's decisions? If not, what's the point of prayer?
     
  2. Nicholas25

    Nicholas25
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great question. I am looking forward to reading responses.
     
  3. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    The God of the bible never changes His mind, he does not need too, ever.
    We do not influence Him . The language used by the writers of the bible is to explain things for our benefit...God never actually repents for anything or any reason.
    When we pray we agree with God who already knows before we ask or think.
    Study God's attributes.
     
  4. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is a tension in Scripture how an omniscient God can decree something, hear man's prayer, and relent on what was going to happen. It's a mystery how God interacts with man within and outside of time. To say He doesn't change His mind is to deny the very instances in Scripture where He does just that has been presented in the OP.
     
  5. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    WD,
    The God of the bible never relents, or changes at all as He never goes to plan B.
    What Moses or some other writer writes is in order for us to be able to understand....

    Do you think God did not know where he was?
    Did God need to find out where Abel was?

    The OP is off base......not even close.
     
  6. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    Here is AW Pink;
    THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

    3. THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God is omniscient. He knows everything: everything possible, everything actual; all events, all creatures, God the past, the present and the future. He is perfectly acquainted with every detail in the life of every being in heaven, in earth and in hell. "He knoweth what is in the darkness" (Dan. 2:22). Nothing escapes Hs notice, nothing can be hidden from Him, nothing is forgotten by Him. Well may we say with the Psalmist, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it" (Ps. 139:6). His knowledge is perfect. He never errs, never changes, never overlooks anything. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Heb. 4:13). Yes, such is the God with whom "we have to do!"

    "Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether" (Ps. 139:2-4). What a wondrous Being is the God of Scripture! Each of His glorious attributes should render Him honorable in our esteem. The apprehension of His omniscience ought to bow us in adoration before Him. Yet how little do we meditate upon this Divine perfection! Is it because the very thought of it fills us with uneasiness?

    How solemn is this fact: nothing can be concealed from God! "For I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them" (Ezek. 11:5). Though He be invisible to us, we are not so to Him. Neither the darkness of night, the closest curtains, nor the deepest dungeon can hide any sinner from the eyes of Omniscience. The trees of the garden were not able to conceal our first parents. No human eye beheld Cain murder his brother, but his Maker witnessed his crime. Sarah might laugh derisively in the seclusion of her tent, yet was it heard by Jehovah. Achan stole a wedge of gold and carefully hid it in the earth, but God brought it to light. David was at much pains to cover up his wickedness, but ere long the all-seeing God sent one of His servants to say to him, "Thou art the man! And to writer and reader is also said, Be sure your sin will find you out" (Num. 32:23).

    Men would strip Deity of His omniscience if they could—what a proof that "the carnal mind is enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7)! The wicked do as naturally hate this Divine perfection as much as they are naturally compelled to acknowledge it. They wish there might be no Witness of their sins, no Searcher of their hearts, no Judge of their deeds. They seek to banish such a God from their thoughts: "They consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness" (Hosea 7:2). How solemn is Psalm 90:8! Good reason has every Christ-rejecter for trembling before it: Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance.

    But to the believer, the fact of God’s omniscience is a truth fraught with much comfort. In times of perplexity he says with Job, "But He knoweth the way that I take." (23:10). It may be profoundly mysterious to me, quite incomprehensible to my friends, but "He knoweth!" In times of weariness and weakness believers assure themselves "He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust" (Ps. 103:14). In times of doubt and suspicion they appeal to this very attribute saying, "Search me, 0 God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Ps. 139:23,24). In time of sad failure, when our actions have belied our hearts, when our deeds have repudiated our devotion, and the searching question comes to us, "Lovest thou Me?;" we say, as Peter did, "Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee" (John 21:17).

    Here is encouragement to prayer. There is no cause for fearing that the petitions of the righteous will not be heard, or that their sighs and tears shall escape the notice of God, since He knows the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is no danger of the individual saint being overlooked amidst the multitude of supplicants who daily and hourly present their various petitions, for an infinite Mind is as capable as paying the same attention to millions as if only one individual were seeking its attention. So too the lack of appropriate language, the inability to give expression to the deepest longing of the soul, will not jeopardize our prayers, for "It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear" (Isa. 65:24).

    "Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite" (Ps. 147:5). God not only knows whatsoever has happened in the past in every part of His vast domains, and He is not only thoroughly acquainted with everything that is now transpiring throughout the entire universe, but He is also perfectly cognizant with every event, from the least to the greatest, that ever will happen in the ages to come. God’s knowledge of the future is as complete as is His knowledge of the past and the present, and that, because the future depends entirely upon Himself. Were it in anywise possible for something to occur apart from either the direct agency or permission of God, then that something would be independent of Him, and He would at once cease to be Supreme.

    Now the Divine knowledge of the future is not a mere abstraction, but something which is inseparably connected with and accompanied by His purpose. God has Himself designed whatsoever shall yet be, and what He has designed must be effectuated. As His most sure Word affirms, "He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand" (Dan. 4:35). And again, "There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand" (Prov. 19:21). The wisdom and power of God being alike infinite, the accomplishment of whatever He hath purposed is absolutely guaranteed. It is no more possible for the Divine counsels to fail in their execution than it would be for the thrice holy God to lie.

    Nothing relating to the future is in anywise uncertain so far as the actualization of God’s counsels are concerned. None of His decrees are left contingent either on creatures or secondary causes. There is no future event which is only a mere possibility, that is, something which may or may not come to pass, "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning" (Acts 15:18). Whatever God has decreed is inexorably certain, for He is without variableness, or shadow, of turning. (James 1:17). Therefore we are told at the very beginning of that book which unveils to us so much of the future, of "Things which must shortly come to pass." (Rev. 1:1).

    The perfect knowledge of God is exemplified and illustrated in every prophecy recorded in His Word. In the Old Testament are to be found scores of predictions concerning the history of Israel, which were fulfilled to their minutest detail, centuries after they were made. In them too are scores more foretelling the earthly career of Christ, and they too were accomplished literally and perfectly. Such prophecies could only have been given by One who knew the end from the beginning, and whose knowledge rested upon the unconditional certainty of the accomplishment of everything foretold. In like manner, both Old and New Testament contain many other announcements yet future, and they too "must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44), must because foretold by Him who decreed them.

    It should, however, be pointed out that neither God’s knowledge nor His cognition of the future, considered simply in themselves, are causative. Nothing has ever come to pass, or ever will, merely because God knew it. The cause of all things is the will of God. The man who really believes the Scriptures knows beforehand that the seasons will continue to follow each other with unfailing regularity to the end of earth’s history (Gen. 8:22), yet his knowledge is not the cause of their succession. So God’s knowledge does not arise from things because they are or will be but because He has ordained them to be. God knew and foretold the crucifixion of His Son many hundreds of years before He became incarnate, and this, because in the Divine purpose, He was a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world: hence we read of His being "delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23).

    A word or two by way of application. The infinite knowledge of God should fill us with amazement. How far exalted above the wisest man is the Lord! None of us knows what a day may bring forth, but all futurity is open to His omniscient gaze. The infinite knowledge of God ought to fill us with holy awe. Nothing we do, say, or even think, escapes the cognizance of Him with whom we have to do: "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Prov. 15:3). What a curb this would be unto us, did we but meditate upon it more frequently! Instead of acting recklessly, we should say with Hagar, "Thou God seest me" (Gen. 16:13). The apprehension of God’s infinite knowledge should fill the Christian with adoration. The whole of my life stood open to His view from the beginning. He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding; yet, nevertheless, fixed His heart upon me. Oh, how the realization of this should bow me in wonder and worship before Him!
     
  7. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Exodus 4:13-14, But he said, "Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will." Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses, and He said, "Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently. And moreover, behold, he is coming out to meet you; when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.
     
  8. freeatlast

    freeatlast
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    10,295
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe that the answer is a little more complicated then to just say no everything is set and prayer cannot effect anything. First we do not know all of what God has ordained. In the things He has ordained they will come to past and nothing will change them. However I for one do not believe that He ordains every bit of history. So when we pray for the Lord to do something or change something our prayers can move the heart of God to bring about what we ask.
    The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
     
  9. Cypress

    Cypress
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    Simpleman, I agree with your OP and have a companion question for those who will consider it. Why did Jesus pray? Did He need some conforming?
     
  10. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hezekiah proves that God's mind can be changed. He cannot be forced to change His mind, but the scripture clearly shows that he will change depending on the circumstances.

    This is something that the Calvinist will never admit to, it shows another weakness in their doctrine.
     
  11. SimpleMan

    SimpleMan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  12. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I disagree. He doesn't do so in the manner that WE do...but Scripture plainly states He did. Also, the fact "prayer of the righteous availeth much" is rendered meaningless if He didn't. Do you recall Jesus' parable about the widow and the unjust judge? That makes no sense if you believe God will never change His mind. Again, He doesn't do so in the manner man does, but according to His will.

    In regards to Adam and Cain, with Adam we don't know...but I believe with Cain God was using sarcasm knowing the sarcastic answer He would receive.
     
  13. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    Webdog,
    You might be over-working that parable,parables usually have one main meaning.....like persistence here.
    God knows what we desire in prayer before we even ask it, so at best when we pray we agree with God on a subject.
    God honoring prayer is part of the good works that are already ordained of God, and they are always subject to God's will. I think you know this already if you think it through.
    In allverses where the language appears to say something that we know could not be so,there are explanations of it if you work at it.
    If you do not work at it,you can come up with [apparently]contradictory ideas. a closer examination will show it not to be so.
     
  14. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    Simpleman,
    I do not share your view of God,or man......so it will not make any discussion easy. When i read your post i could pull it apart,but it seems that you emotionally want to believe what you have posted.
    I am bound by scripture to see it differently. i can only suggest some ideas for you. Look up the term anthropromorpisms {sp?] it will help .
    read Luther on bondage of the will, Spurgeon free will a slave, to learn about the effects of the fall.
    Carnal reasoning does not explain the scriptural revelation.Sorry I cannot help you on this.:type:
     
  15. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    Your weakness in understanding of scripture should not be confused with the Historic understanding that all the reformers and confessions have held....being as you say weak! Your constant harping on those who believe in God's grace is twisting your reason,in my opinion.
    You and freeatlast speak of a God who has not ordained some things that come to pass:confused::confused:
    If there is anything that is outside of God's control,or plan, there is no God.
    To be honest....I am trying to be patient with some of these posts,however it seems that some are getting very close to denying the God of scripture on purpose. To not understand something in scripture is one thing.None of us has it all. We are all still growing and learning.
    Yet.....some very casually speak against the truth of God without any concern or reverence for the word being manifest. I think there needs to be some caution used before these posts are sent out.
     
  16. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe if there weren't so many threads started about reformed theology, I wouldn't comment on my dislike for Calvinism as much.
     
  17. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    It goes beyond parables, though. There are numerous historic incidents in Scripture when God relented and changed His mind.
     
  18. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like that WD, especially the attitude of we don't KNOW everything about God and how He interacts with us. God Bless Brother.
     
  19. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    You have a good point there ,Robert:thumbsup: There are many other areas we can search out:wavey:
     
  20. SimpleMan

    SimpleMan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can agree with you on the first part of you post, that we don't agree.
    For someone to be bound by scripture and say scripture can be changed and manipulated to fit what you want to believe because people who wrote it didn't have the right vocabulary or words is so dangerous. So if you don't agree with the wording of a scripture or a word, then you just say that word should be changed because they didn't know what they were doing. Ridiculous. As far as following my emotions, God gave us emotions to use. Our emotions are to be used as a tool to help guide us along with all the other tools that he gave us. Intellect is a good thing, but used alone, it's not enough.
     

Share This Page

Loading...