This is a familiar passage to most of us as it talks about Hezekiah’s life being prolonged after God had first announced that he was to die.
The oft repeated lesson we hear is how Hezekiah did not properly make use of his extension of life. In his pride, he sinned and judgement was proclaimed by Isaiah.
As I was reading this chapter, I am reminded of a question that sometimes Christians like to ask… “Can God change His mind? Can we change God’s mind?”
Hezekiah was very sick and God actually told him that he was to die. But we see now an example of how God listened to the prater of someone and apparently changed His mind on the action that He was to take.
So does God actually change His mind?
What do you think?
The answer for me is both yes and no.
Why do I say it?
God is eternal. And knows all things through eternity.
And God knew exactly what was going to happen and had planned to change His mind when King Hezekiah prayed.
So when Hezekiah prayed, God responded to his prayers and appears to change His mind. This is very much like when we pray to God and ask for certain things and God listens to our prayers and does something.
God hears our prayers and responds.
We are not puppets. God is not inflexible.
So it seems that God does change His mind.
He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”
~ 1 Sam 15:29 (NIV)
But when we consider that God knows all things….
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
~ 1 John 3:20
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
~ John 21:17
We see that God knows what will ultimately happen.
And His response to our prayers is part of His plan in bringing about what will ultimately happen.
The Bible tells us that God does not change His mind and yet we see how He seems to do just that.
But we must look at it from two angles.
The first from the angle of eternity. God does not change His mind because He knew from all eternity what the ultimate end will be.
From the temporal angle, God changes His mind in response to our prayers and pleas.
So what does it tell us today?
We have an ultimate God who knows all things and yet is willing to listen and respond to our prayers. In our limits, we do not know what the end is… so our responsibility and duty is to keep on praying and asking in His will… for that is what He wants us to do.