Changing, yet never-changing?

 Exodus 32:14 So even though the Lord had threatened to destroy the people, he changed his mind and let them live. 

Psalm 33:11 But what the lord has planned will stand forever.
His thoughts never change.

Can a God who is never changing actually change His mind? It sure appears that way. Why do we make such a big deal about this? It seems to me that people like to emphasize the verse we read in Psalms today, but somehow want to de-emphasize or explain away the verse in Exodus. Why do people feel it’s necessary to perform all kinds of exegetical, philosophical, mental, and theological acrobatics in order to explain away the fact that it explicitly says here that God changed His mind and then it also says He isn’t changing? I know the worry is that it somehow contradicts the statements in Scripture that say that He never changes.

Is a God who changes His mind any less sovereign? Does it make Him any less powerful or all-knowing? Does it somehow diminish His worth?

I don’t think so.

I think it makes Him more beautiful. More complex. More impossible to understand. In some strange way that is beyond my comprehension, I am starting to wonder if God is both unchanging and changing. Why does it have to be either/or?

Go ahead. Label me a heretic. But I’m much more comfortable with a God that doesn’t fit within my limited mental capacity to comprehend and understand. Trying to do that – putting God into a box and making Him something we can understand – is what the people of Israel did with the golden calf, isn’t it? They weren’t understanding the things God was doing with Moses. They wanted to go back to the things they were familiar with. So they tried to force God to become something He wasn’t – something that could be seen, felt, touched, and understood.

That didn’t turn out very well for them.

In other news…
Psalm 33:7
 7 He scooped up the ocean and stored the water.

I love that imagery! Love. it.

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About mattdantodd

My name is Matt Todd. My wife and I have three kids, a dog, and a guinea pig. We adopted our youngest daughter is from Ethiopia. We're definitely not opposed to adopting again. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces and the Indiana Hoosiers. What else do you need to know? You're welcome to... Follow me on twitter at @mattdantodd Friend me on facebook
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