Q. In the OT, I think, there was a passage where God was actually persuaded to change His mind when someone petitioned Him. These verses have troubled me since our Bible class studied it. How could God be petitioned to change His mind? I can hardly fathom that thought from an all-knowing, perfect God.
Thanks so much in advance, for helping me sort these issues out, as they are very troubling for me. You are greatly appreciated.
A. You’re referring to Exodus 32:9-14, where Moses made intercession for the people to deflect the Lord’s anger.
The Lord had already promised to make the people into a great nation and His word was at stake. Plus, their rebellion was no surprise to Him. Moses knew this and knew that God knew it, too. By reminding God of His commitment, Moses was presenting a model of intercession, a foreshadowing of what Jesus does for us when Satan accuses us before God.
God wouldn’t have destroyed the people, just as later on He wouldn’t have let Abraham sacrifice Isaac. Both these cases were meant to act out a prophecy of the Redeemer. In Abraham’s case it was to show that God would one day offer His only Son as a sacrifice for sin (John 3:16), and in the case of Moses, that Jesus would sit at the right hand of God ever making intercession for us (Romans 8:34).