If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. And if I announce that I will build up and plant a certain nation or kingdom, making it strong and great, but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless that nation as I had said I would. Jeremiah 18:7-10 NLT
Is this the same God talking that also said, “I the Lord do not change!”? Does God really change His mind? And, if God’s Word says that He has plans to bless and prosper me, will He change His mind on that as well? Can I really depend on a God who would change His mind?
To understand this passage, you must put it into context with the entirety of Scripture. Scripture should always interpret Scripture. First, God is Sovereign. Scripture is clear that God is overall in control. In the end, God wins every time. It is also important to understand that God has an ultimate plan and He is working all things towards that plan. What happens in between now and the completion of that plan is where God is sometimes “flexible”, for lack of a better term. God’s overall plan will not have changed in the end, but He may allow some altering of the path towards reaching the completion of His end plan.
I know that is confusing, so let me illustrate it like this. If you were to leave my house in Tennessee and head to my mother’s family in Kansas, there are several routes you could take to get there. Ultimately one route is probably best, but you could get there from several directions. In accomplishing God’s end goal for our life, God sometimes allows different courses of reaching that end goal. God will even allow us to take turns that are not really His best plan for us. In that way, God has allowed His plan to be altered, but the overall end plan remains the same.
You and I may never fully understand how God has a sovereign plan and yet He allows us to make individual decisions for our life, but both are true in Scripture. In the end, when this life is over, God’s plan for our life will succeed. Our best course of action today is to seek and get in on that plan!
For more thoughts on this concept, read THIS POST.