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What is the significance of Psalm 106:23?
“Therefore he said he would destroy them—
had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn away his wrath from destroying them.”
Moses (on several occasions, we have seen) persuaded God to change his mind regarding his plan to judge Israel. This inspired verse explicitly says that God “would destroy them…had not Moses…stood in the breach.” If God always foreknew that Moses was going to stand in the breach and thus that he wasn’t going to destroy Israel, can we avoid concluding that his declaration to Moses that he was going to destroy Israel was somewhat duplicitous? If the outcome was eternally known to God, can we avoid getting the impression that he was playing a Machiavellian game with his prophet?
If we trust that God is above such antics, however, we must accept the straightforward meaning of this verse. Accepting this view has the added advantage of accentuating the importance and urgency of intercessory prayer in a way that is, I believe, impossible if we believe the future is exhaustively settled in God’s mind (cf. Ezek. 22:29–31).
What is the significance of Hosea 8:5?
The Lord asks, “How long will they [Israel] be incapable of innocence?” The Lord’s continual striving with Israel regarding their lack of innocence suggests that this question was not merely rhetorical. If God knows the future to be eternally settled, however, he could not in earnest ask this (or any other) question about the future.…
What is the significance of 2 Chronicles 7:12–14?
The Lord says to Solomon, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will…
The Open View and Radical Suffering
Jessica Kelley spoke at Open2013 this morning, sharing her journey with tenderness and authority. Jessica began wrestling with her view of God a couple of years ago and embraced Open Theism prior to the diagnosis and eventual death of her four-year-old son, Henry. Everyone here at the conference was profoundly affected by her story and…
5 Ways the Bible Supports Open Theism
Open Theism refers to the belief that God created a world in which possibilities are real. It contrasts with Classical Theism which holds that all the facts of world history are eternally settled, either by God willing them so (as in Calvinism) or simply in God’s knowledge (as in Arminianism). Open Theists believe God created humans and…
What is the significance of 2 Chronicles 32:31?
“God left [Hezekiah] to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.” God tests his covenant partners to discover whether they will choose to remain faithful to him, an exercise that is absurd if God exhaustively foreknows exactly how faithful every person will choose to be. If the…
Free Will: The origin of evil
In this continuing series on free will, Greg discusses how evil can only be accounted for if we acknowledge free will. This is especially true if you believe that God is good.