How do you respond to Malachi 3:6?

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished.”

Some cite this verse as evidence that God need never be flexible in his plans and change his mind. But this claim contradicts all the explicit declarations in Scripture which state that God does frequently modify his plans and change his mind, especially in response to prayer and repentant hearts.

It’s important to consider this verse’s context. The Lord is teaching Israel that if it were not for his steadfast character and covenantal integrity they would have all perished because of their iniquities. God’s character never changes. He is always perfectly good and faithful. But for just this reason he will not stick to one intention—even after he’s announced it—if the circumstances change and render that intention no longer perfectly good (see Jer. 18:6–10; Jon. 4:2; Joel 2:12–13). In other words, God is absolutely unchanging in his perfect character which is perfectly responsive to our ever changing circumstances.

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