Tag: foreknowledge

Did Moses Change God’s Mind? (Ex 32:10-14)

When reading through Exodus 32 it is normal for someone to ask the question, “Did God change His mind when speaking to Moses?” Or, perhaps even more specifically, “Did Moses change God’s mind?” The question, though legitimate, if incorrectly answered, can have potentially blasphemous ramifications. We’ll see some of them shortly.

The context of the passage we’re considering is when the children of Israel began to worship a golden calf in the wilderness (Ex. 32:1-6). God told Moses to go down from the Mount because the people had corrupted themselves (32:7). But He didn’t stop there. In light of the wickedness that the people displayed, God told Moses:

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Did Something Never Enter into God’s Mind Before it Happened? (Jer 7:31; 19:5; 32:35)

And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.
(Jer 7:31)

(they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind),
(Jer 19:5)

And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.’
(Jer 32:35)

Above are three examples where God is recorded as saying either, “nor did it come into My heart” or “nor did it come into My mind”. The question that immediately arises is – what did God mean when He said these things? If you approach these texts with an open theist posture you might be inclined to say that God was saying that He hadn’t even conceived the possibility of these things happening. That could be your explanation of the phrase, “nor did it come into My mind”; a kind of equivalent of God saying, “The things that these people are doing… I hadn’t even imagined this sort of thing happening. It’s not only outlandish, it’s unexpected.”

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Did God Not Know Which Signs the Egyptians Would Believe? (Ex 4:6-9)

Furthermore the Lord said to him, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. And He said, “Put your hand in your bosom again.” So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh. “Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign. And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.” (Ex 4:6-9)

 

The controversy behind this passage is found in verses eight and nine. The argument is: God told Moses what to do if Pharaoh and the Egyptians did not believe the first two signs; thus, since God didn’t tell Moses what to do, but only how to respond to however the Egyptians reacted, it must mean that God did not know what their response would be.

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