Does God Change?

It is written:

“Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky. But God never changes like the shadows from those lights. He is always the same.” (James 1:17)

The Bible is emphatic that God does not change (cf. Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). Yet there are also passages which seem to imply that God DOES change (Genesis 6:6; Exodus 32:14; Jonah 3:10).

Is this contradictory?

Not at all; for what the passages demonstrate is that God did not change in His Being. Instead, what “changed” was His response, based on the circumstances which were often changing.

John Haley has well written:

“It is precisely because God is immutable that his relation to men, and his treatment of them, vary with the changes in their character and conduct. In a word, he changes because he is unchangeable. A homely illustration may be permitted. Suppose a rock is to located at the center of a circle one mile in diameter. A man starts to walk around the circle. On starting he is due north from the rock, which consequently bears due south from him. After travelling a while, he comes to be due east from the rock, and that due west from him. Now the rock does not move, yet its direction from the man changes with every step he takes. In a somewhat analogous manner, God’s aspect and feelings toward men change as they change.” (John Haley, Alleged Discrepancies Of The Bible, 1253-1257 (Kindle Edition); New Kensington, PA; Whitaker House)

It is because God does not change in His Nature that we can have absolute confidence in Him and His Word.

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