The Reversible God

change

So the LORD relented. “This will not happen,” the LORD said. (Amos 7:3)

“I the LORD do not change,” he told the prophet Malachi. He told Moses years before that, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” Yeah, right. Nice idea but hard to follow through on, even for a certain Somebody of the deity persuasion Who shall remain nameless for the sake of argument and so that this writer, who shall feign a merely conjectural, theologically nebulous perspective, is not struck with lightning for heresy, blasphemy, or polygamy.

Actually, the Bible implies that God has changed his mind quite a few times. Most of those times it has to do with God’s impending no holds barred wrath which he is just about to unleash upon a bunch of rebellious vulgarians. It generally follows this pattern:

GOD: Those insolent, ungrateful, bastards*! I’ve had enough of their selfish, idolatrous, ignorant behavior. They hardly call anymore, and when I speak they don’t listen to a word I say. So I’m going to toast their buns big time. I am the Boss, doggone it. I’ve said it. So there!

LAWYER: Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Think of what this will do to your image. You’ll come across as a short-tempered, self-absorbed Bull deity—just like that Baal dude everybody thinks is so hot. You want that?

GOD: Well, no. I’m basically a nice supreme being.  It’s just that these people drive me nuts with their statues, ritual orgies, and iPods. . . . Uh, do they really think that Baal is hot?

LAWYER: And think of your people. If you destroy them who’s going to visit you on Saturdays? What’s the point of being God in the first place if there’s nobody to slaughter sheep and cows in your honor?

GOD: Yeah. It’d be a drag just hanging around doing nothing. The days can get to seem like a thousand years. Okay, forget the total destruction thing. Maybe I’ll do some pestilence instead. That’s always a good ice-breaker. What would Baal do, I wonder?

Rather than the unbending celestial automatic pilot of traditional Platonic contemplation, the Almighty of the Bible is a guy who’s got some major wiggle room. It seems that the inevitable may not always so inevitable. Apparently, you can mess with God’s plans from time to time.

Good thing. I just washed my hair and can’t do a thing with it.

(*See Heb 12:8 KJV and lay off.)

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3 Responses

  1. It sounds like this a God of possibility, a God of relationship, a dynamic personality who really is involved with humanity as volitional beings. All this an yet no compromise of sovereignty. I am in awe, again.

  2. I’ve oft wondered about this very thing. Of that you shed any light on it. But I do feel better in my wondering.

  3. the only reason his mind goes in these directions is because he’s up at 4:00 am

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