July 27, 2021
Scripture: God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19 ESV
Observation: The certainty of God’s word can be comforting and unnerving. It is comforting to those who yearn for hope and stability. It is unnerving to those who are self-reliant and seek autonomy. We see this polarization of responses throughout Scripture, whether it is King Balak who distresses over Baalam’s blessing of Israel (verses 9-11 in the above story) or Mary who treasures the prophecies spoken over her baby (Luke 2:19). In each instance, God’s word did not return void (Isaiah 55:11). But how do we understand those passages of Scripture where God appears to have changed his mind? Whether it be the story of Abraham negotiating with God over the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 18) or Moses pleading with God to spare Israel after they had fashioned and worshiped a golden calf (Exodus 32), each time the creature walks away from their discourse with their Creator gaining a broader, more lucid understanding of his holiness, justice, and mercy.
Takeaway: We are prone to self-deception; it is we who need to change our minds. Thankfully, his unchanging words have been fulfilled in Christ and are transforming (changing) our minds through his promised Holy Spirit. Our part is to rely on the certainty of the “Word made flesh.”
Prayer: Father God, in your mercy, demolish all our means of self-reliance and stir in us a desire to solely rely on the certainty of your incarnate Word and his revelation of Scripture. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling