Can We Cause God To Change His Mind?
Hezekiah and Moses Plead with God for a Different Outcome
In Isaiah we read about King Hezekiah. The king is sick, and Isaiah comes to him with a dire message from God. Through Isaiah, God tells Hezekiah to put his affairs in order because his illness is fatal. Death looms.
Though few of us would welcome death, knowing when our end would occur might bring about a certain appreciation. This would give us an opportunity to say our goodbyes and get our estate organized for our heirs.
Hezekiah Prays and Cries to God
But Hezekiah doesn’t give God a heartfelt, or even a respectful, “Thanks for the heads up.” Instead the king cries bitter tears and reminds God—as if God needed reminding—of his lifetime of faithfulness, devotion, and good living.
Guess what happens next?
God hears Hezekiah’s prayers and sees his tears. God changes his mind. Instead of sticking to the plan that the king’s end is near, God pledges to give him another fifteen years of life (Isaiah 38:1-5).God wants to do good things for us, and sometimes all we need to do is ask. Click To Tweet
Moses Also Seeks God’s Favor
However, long before the reign of King Hezekiah, Moses and God have another interesting exchange. When God’s chosen people decide to worship a golden calf instead of him, God has enough. He says he’ll destroy his people and start over with Moses to make a new nation.
If this happened to me, I’d bow my head in false humility and say something like, “As you wish.” But not Moses. Instead he tries to talk God out of it. Moses fights for the nation of Israel even though they don’t deserve it. God listens to Moses’s reasoning and he relents from destroying his people as he had planned (Exodus 32:9-14).
God wants to do good things for us, and sometimes all we need to do is ask.
Read more about the book of Isaiah in Dear Theophilus, Isaiah: 40 Prophetic Insights about Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.