Did God Change His Mind?

Q.  Re: Lessons from Jonah.  I do not believe from what scripture says in various places that God changes his mind, but in Jonah 3:10 it almost seems as if he does.  When asked by others why this is not an example of God changing his mind, I have had difficulty explaining it.  Can you please help me?

A.  Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” 

God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  He doesn’t have to change his mind when He sees man’s reaction because He already knows what man’s reaction will be.

Jonah 3:10 says God threatened the Ninevites with judgment. It doesn’t say He had already decided to judge them and then had to change His mind based on their reaction. He knew before He sent Jonah to Nineveh that they would repent and that He wouldn’t have to follow through with His threat.

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