The Lord changed his mind

p-hatExodus 32:14: And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

The fact that God is a person and  is shown in the fact that he can be persuaded, can be reasoned with.

Because of the unfaithfulness of the  children of Israel who made a calf to worship it, the people drew the ire of god and God told Moses that he was going to do away with bunch of them and fulfill his promise through Moses and his direct descendants (Exodus 32:1-14, 30-35).

Moses was not going to take that declaration lying low. The whole idea that God had sold him in the process of recruiting him to undertake to lead the children of Israel from the house of bondage in Egypt was to lead them to the land that was promised to their forefathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Moses convinced God to overlook the error of the Israelites and still fulfill his promise. Therefore with the intercessory work of Moses, God changed his mind. That was God changing his mind from a negative intention.

We have another incident of God changing his mind in the story of Eli the priest but it was from good to bad. The sons of Eli were a contemptible duo, Hophni and Phinehas. They make a mockery of God’s order and holy things. They regularly sleep with the women who came to worship God and when people come to offer sacrifice to God they show greediness with the way they handle the meat of the animal for sacrifice.

God therefore vowed that he was going to change his mind concerning the line that was supposed to carry on with the priesthood in Israel. God blamed Eli for not doing enough to restrain his sons; he exhibited so much lethargy regarding the complaints against his son. And God could not stand that (1Samuel 2:22-36, 3:11-18).

God, having it up to here, said he was going to give the priesthood to another person and cut off the lineage of Eli from the line of priesthood. Normally, the priesthood was to follow a family line according to what God himself established through Moses, but the lack of seriousness, Eli’s lack of application of discipline to his children resulted into God changing his mind.

And eventually under King Solomon Abiathar was removed from the priesthood (one of the descendants of Eli) and Zadok replaced him (1Kings 2:27, 35).

God was with Abraham at a time and told him of his intention to judged Sodom and Gomorrah because the fame of their sinfulness has reached heaven (Genesis 18:16-33). Abraham who has a stake there in the form of his nephew Lot and his family put on his persuasion cap and set out to persuade God using His divine character, to persuade him to have mercy on the Land though deserving of destruction because of the corruption that was there.

Though Abraham was not successful, it showed that man can actually have God change his mind. Both Moses and Abraham used their understanding of the character of God to persuade him. From their relationship with God, they got to know him and applied that knowledge in the art of intercession.

Therefore to attempt to change God’s mind we must be armed with understanding of who he is. The scriptures that we have in the bible are the means for us to know the character of God. And in communication with God in the arena of intercession, we should have understanding of his mercy and compassion at the back of our mind.

When it comes to persuasion, the blood of Jesus trumps all others. The blood of Jesus is called the blood that speaks better things than the blood of Abel (Hebrews 12:24).

Abel was the second born of Adam and Eve with Cain as the older one who killed Abel because of jealousy. After Cain cut him down, God testified that the blood of Abel was crying out to him from the ground for vengeance (Genesis 4:8-16). And God acted based on that to judge Cain, displacing him from his presence.

Remember that while Jesus hung on the cross, He said father, should forgive sin of the assailants because they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:33-34).  That was his cry to the father for those who put him on the cross.

The better thing that the blood of Jesus would say is forgiveness and mercy. One can therefore conclude that the number one thing that the blood of Jesus speaks is forgiveness. What it persuades God to do is to forgive. And other references in the bible show that we have forgiveness through the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1:7, Matthew 26:28, Romans 3:25). The blood of Jesus cries: “forgive.”

All of us were beforehand children of wrath (Ephesians 2:2-4) but through the sacrifice of Jesus, God was persuaded to have mercy on us. He is faithful to fulfill the demand of the blood of Jesus in our lives once we believe in him, signing up to that pack.

PersuasionIn the practice of divine persuasion in the place of prayer, you want God to act in a specific way that would favour you, what the overwhelming evidence of scriptures suggests is that you use his word.

You have to be conversant with what is promised. When Daniel took up the task of praying from the freedom of Israel, for the restoration of Israel to become a geographical nation again, he applied the word of God, written by Jeremiah (Daniel 9:1-27). He sought for forgiveness from God for the sins of the people, following what Solomon said at the building of the first temple and which God signed off on (1Kings 8:22-53, 9:1-3).

Nehemiah used a similar method of persuasion, actively confessing and seeking forgiveness for the sins that Israel committed that resulted in the total demolition of Israel decades earlier (Nehemiah 1:5-11).

In all these, we see that prayer is the key in the art of persuading God. It is not that God set out to be difficult, waiting to be persuaded all the time. But realise that in the Garden of Eden the impression we get is that in the relationship between God and man, God was the one taking the initiate (Genesis 3:8-11). However, once man abused that privileged by sin, God changed his tactics and to a large extent now, man would have to take the initiative in the relating with God, (Genesis 4:26), and that relationship forms the basis of any kind of persuasion for God to change his mind, and the basic qualification for the intercessor.

 

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