What is the significance of 1 Chronicles 21:15?

“And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but when he was about to destroy it, the Lord took note and relented concerning the calamity; he said to the destroying angel, ‘Enough! Stay your hand.’”

This powerful passage tells us why God sent the angel and why he changed his mind. If God foreknew he was not going to destroy Jerusalem, he could not have genuinely intended to destroy it and the Scripture which explicitly tells us “he was about to destroy it” must be considered incorrect. Moreover, if God never really intended to destroy the city, his dispatching the angel for the expressed purpose of doing so becomes altogether unintelligible. Nor could he have authentically “relented” from a previous plan, for he never really planned this destruction in the first place.

The classical view of an exhaustively settled future introduces a certain artificiality into texts such as this one which depict God as changing his plans. For this reason, I believe we should reject this view of the future and accept that God can truly change his mind about temporal matters.

Category:
Tags: ,
Topics:
Verse:

Related Reading

What do you think of Thomas Aquinas’ view of God?

Question: You have written (in Trinity and Process) that the relational God of the Bible is the antithesis of the immutable God of Thomas Aquinas. Could you explain this? Answer: Aquinas and much of the classical theological tradition borrowed heavily from Aristotle’s notion of God as an “unmoved mover.” God moves the world but remains…

What is omni-resourcefulness?

Question: What do you mean when you refer to God’s omni-resourcefulness? Can you support this with Scripture? Answer: I and others use the term omni-resourcefulness to highlight a feature of God in Scripture that the classical theological tradition consistently overlooks. Part of the greatness of the God of the Bible, we argue, is that he…

How do you respond to John 6:44?

“No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me…” Calvinists sometimes argue that this passage teaches that the Father chooses and then “draws” certain people to Christ. Those who are “drawn” certainly come to Christ (John 6:37) while all who are not drawn remain in their sin. In short, this…

Greg and Paul Tag Team to Answer Your Questions

Greg Boyd and Paul Eddy answered questions submitted from Woodland Hills Church and podcasters during all three services this last Saturday and Sunday. They covered a wide range of topics so, chances are, you’ll find something here of interest to you. You can download audio or video from the three services below: Saturday evening service…

Tags:

How can we determine what is and is not “open” about the future?

Question: You believe that the future is partly open. You’re writing has pretty much convinced me this is true, but I’ve still got some serious questions about it. For example, how does anyone determine what part is open and what part is not? If we can’t determine what is and is not open, isn’t the…

Why We Can’t Know Why

Various fields of science have taught us that the slightest variation in a sufficiently complex process at one point may cause remarkable variations in that process at another point. The flap of a butterfly wing in one part of the globe can be, under the right conditions, the decisive variable that brings about a hurricane…