Summary: Using Bible verses from both the KJV and ERV to support opinions on both positions.
We are often reminded not to “Cherry pick” verses to support a singular opinion. This is not an accusative declarative but merely to support the following methodology of understanding the Biblical verses that a reasonable person could examine on the subject of this lesson. Your decision as to whether God does or does not change His mind is not for me to try to alter. Study these verses plus the plethora of other Bible translations of your choice and arrive at your own independent conclusions as to whether or not God Changes His mind. Since, and because, there are different translations to our Holy Bibles, I will first offer several examples, (pro or con) from the King James Version then (sometimes) within the Easy to Read Version (ERV) of the same verse(s).
My 'comments', which are frequently dispersed, should be considered for clarity or the highlighting of notable portions. These same comments should not be considered to be assumptively correct.
We must always take care to distinguish between conditional declarations of God and unconditional spoken terms of God. When God said, “I will destroy Nineveh in forty days,” He was speaking conditionally upon the Assyrians’ response. We know this because when the Assyrians repented, God did not dole out a destructive judgment. God did not change His mind; rather, His successful warning message to Nineveh was meant to provoke repentance.
God was changing results “conditionally” or, in other words, if you do this God will do that. Jeremiah 42:10 (KJV) comes to mind by offering “If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.” (ERV) ‘If you will stay in Judah, I will make you strong—I will not destroy you. I will plant you, and I will not pull you up. I will do this because I am sad about the terrible things that I made happen to you.
Some verses show the foreknowledge of God as in 2 Samuel 24:15-16 (KJV) So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. 16 And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite. (ERV) So the Lord sent a disease against Israel. It began in the morning and continued until the chosen time to stop. From Dan to Beersheba 70,000 people died. 16 The angel raised his arm over Jerusalem and was ready to destroy it, but the Lord felt very sorry about the bad things that had happened. He said to the angel who destroyed the people, “That’s enough! Put down your arm.” The Lord’s angel was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. It would appear that the LORD had predetermined a time to stop and redirect the Angel – so this passage cannot be considered to be any kind of change of mind.
There are several verses in the Bible that support the concept that “God does not Change His Mind”. For instance, Malachi 3:6 declares, “I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” Taken by itself, it would seem that verse alone would stop all debate on this particular topic. As do many of the following verses.
1 Samuel 15:29 (KJV) And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent. (ERV) The one who lives forever, the God of Israel, does not lie and will not change his mind. He is not like a man who is always changing his mind.
Isaiah 31:2 (KJV) Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity. (ERV) But he is the wise one who is bringing the disaster. (“calling back His words” seems to be missing) And they will not be able to stop what he commanded. The Lord will attack those who are evil and all who try to help them.
So, in similar support, James 1:17 tells us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” What Numbers 23:19 says is clear: “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” Based on these verses, no, God does not change. God is unchanging and unchangeable. He is also all-wise. So He does not, some say cannot, “change His mind” in the sense of admitting a mistake or backtracking then directing a new course.