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Does God Really Repent?
People are often puzzled by this question, but once you think about it, it has a simple answer. Unbelievers try to use this ‘problem’ (and others) to undermine Christians’ faith. Knowing the answer helps us to ‘give an answer for the hope that is in us’ (1 Pet.3:15).
Consider: Some say that God is not perfect because He was sorry for creating mankind.
Genesis 6:5-6 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. (KJV) . . . Unbelievers say that since God makes mistakes, He is not perfect.
God’s response of grief over creating humanity, is NOT sorrow in the sense of sorrow over a mistaken creation; but displays that God’s pain comes from the perversion of human sin. The making of ‘man’ was no error; it was what ‘man’ did to himself that caused God’s grief.
Some believe that God was prevented by Old Testament characters, such as Lot and Moses, NOT to bring destruction on His people? Is this not evidence that sometimes God is wrong and needs to be confronted by someone in the right? My question: Just WHO would that ‘someone in the right’ be?
Are there answers to the above? YES! There are!
The Holy Bible describes God and His actions if anyone truly want to know! When we come to something that is not clear to us in Scripture, we should interpret it in light of what is clear there. I truly believe that the Bible is its own best Commentary! Check out other Scriptures speaking on the same subject.
Exodus 34:5-7 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (KJV)
Iniquity, and transgression, and sin . . . this includes sins of ALL kinds and sizes, secret or open, weaknesses or ideas, against God or men. That will by no means clear the guilty: this is added so people do not mistake or abuse God's mercy. God is most gracious indeed, but He is also just, and will NOT pity nor spare brazen and unrepentant transgressors of His Holy Law. He shall severely punish them. He will severely punish the iniquity of the fathers, especially their idolatry, upon themselves, and upon their children (Ex.20:5), but when He judges, He has mercy, and will not totally destroy His people for their sins. The Bible tells us of God's character and nature, and His way of moving towards His enemies, against whom He proceeds with great severity, and commands the Israelites to do so in the verses here following; but towards His people, whose cause Moses continues to plead with God (Ex.32:11-13, 31; 33:13, 15; 34:9). Even though God leaves the marks of His vengeance for this sin upon His people, even to their third and fourth generation; or maybe further; He will not utterly root them out, which is the greatest thing they feared and tried to prevent. Also see (Jer.30:11; 46:28). I will not leave thee altogether unpunished, or, yet will I not make a full end of thee.
God NEVER extends mercy by shutting His eyes to the guilty. He will never say, "I’ll just forget that sin." ALL sin must be punished and its penalty must be paid. God will NOT clear the guilty. So, how does He maintain His gracious mercy and take care of iniquity at the same time? Due to His awesome love and wisdom, He has provided a Sacrifice for us. The sacrifices Israel made in that day did NOT take sin away, they simply pointed to that "Perfect Sacrifice," the Lord Jesus Christ, Who, when He did come, put away sin by His death on the Cross, for those who believe God and trust in Jesus.
1 John 5:10-13 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (KJV)
Sodom is first mentioned of in Genesis 13, when Lot and Abram separated because their herds were so great that the land could not support them together. Gen. 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. (KJV) . . . As you can see, Sodom already was noted for its sin of homosexuality, which God says is an abomination to Him
(Lev.18:22; 20:13). Other mentions of homosexuality in the Bible (Gen.19:4-5; Deut.23:17; Judg.19:22; Rom.1:26-27; 1Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim.1:10; Jude 1:7). Ezekiel also mentions Sodom (Eze.16:44-59). https://godcannotlie.org/book_of_ezekiel_ch16.htm
Abram was not allowed to take anything from the king of Sodom because of the city’s sinfulness (Gen.14:22–24), possibly when Abraham was between 75 and 86 years old (Gen.12:4; 16:16). At least 13 years passed (Gen.17:25) before God told Abraham He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sin. It seems very likely to me that God was giving them time to repent of their sin . . . but they did NOT repent of their sin.
Abraham had most likely heard how wicked Sodom was, because he really does try to get God to change His Mind about destroying the city (Gen.18:22–33). But the wickedness was so wide spread that every single man in the city tries to attack the men together (Gen.19:4-5); so determined that even when they were supernaturally blinded (Gen.19:1, 11), it did not make them stop looking for the door. This reveals the depth of their wickedness, and the reason God was just and right to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He showed amazing mercy to Lot and his family, taking them by the hand to lead them out of the city and sparing Zoar for their sake (Gen.19:22-26). Do you honestly object to Almighty God’s decision to utterly destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? Do you honestly think He has no right to judge anyone? IF you do, you are doomed to the lake of fire where all who refuse to obey Him shall go! YES!!! There is a HELL!!! BEWARE!!! IF you do not believe God and His Holy Word, you shall go there! https://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_hell_is_it_there.htm
Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (KJV) . . . Is God's jealousy an imperfection, this God who is supposed to be perfect and pure? Did He over-act against Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot’s wife? Considering Sodom and Gomorrah, was it really an ‘overreaction’ on God’s part. I say NO. When God wants to tell us about how He acts or feels, He has to bring it down to our level so we can understand.
When Exodus 20:5 calls God ‘jealous’, it is not in the sinful sense, but in the positive sense. It is the same sort of jealousy Paul speaks of when he says: 2 Cor. 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (KJV) . . . God is passionate about His honor and glory, He simply refuses to give it up or to share it with false gods. Dear one, this is a good jealousy, and it is good for us too, because false gods lead people far away from the one and only True Gospel that leads us to eternal life in Heaven with our Saviour and Lord, Jesus and His awesome Father.
Any time the Bible speaks of God having emotions, or describes God the Father in ‘human’ terms, we must remember that we can never fully understand God’s Mind, because we are human and He is not. So, He has to represent Himself in terms we can understand. God absolutely does act, and He certainly does think and feel, but when He wants to tell us about these things, He has to bring it down to our level so we can understand.
God's Use of Evil in Prophecy
Does God Repent?
Does God Really Repent?
Does God Change His Mind?
Doctrine of God's Repentance
Wickedness Makes God Repent