The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it – Jeremiah 18:7-10
Did you know that it is possible to change God’s mind about the word that He has already spoken? The passage of scripture quoted above certainly proves that it is possible. How do we do it? God tells us that our disobedience or obedience is one way for us to change His mind about what He has already spoken. Another way to do is through the petition of a righteous man.
Reason 2: We cannot predict people’s response to prophesy
We have to be careful about judging a person a prophe-liar when what they have prophesied has not come true. Why? This is because the fulfillment of prophesy is in part due to disobedience or obedience of the person, people, or nation to which the word applies. Remember that prophesy is the word of the Lord. At times, this word from God is simply a warning aimed to get a change of behavior or heart so that God may relent. At times, the word is an unchangeable proclamation! Either way, both of these are words from God.
In essence, prophetic words are words that foretell what God has planned for us. But just like when Abraham intervened on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah, we may be able to petition God to change his mind on what he has pronounced. Remember that God was going to destroy these cities for their unrighteousness, but Abraham was able to talk God down to looking for a few righteous men. Sadly, even this was too much to ask.
Now, if the example of Sodom and Gomorrah does not grab you, for God destroyed the city anyway, what of that of King Hezekiah? Prophet Isaiah brought the word of God to Hezekiah that he was going to die (Isaiah 20:1) from his illness. Not wanting to die, Hezekiah petitioned the Lord for His life and lo and behold, the Lord changed what He had planned. We see in 2 Kings 20:5 that the Lord extended Hezekiah’s life because of His prayer.
This shows us that God puts loving mercy and grace above prophesy. He wants us to give Him an occasion to relent and speak new words of life over us. What a loving Father! This is why Paul tells us that while prophesies might fail, love never fails!
Even Jesus had to take obedient action to fulfill prophesies about Him – He had to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. See, God will never take away the free-will He gave us just so that prophesy is fulfilled. No! He is more in the business in convincing us that His prophetic words are profitable for us to act upon. This action may be confessing our faults, petitioning him, or acting in obedience.
For every word of prophesy from an individual to be fulfilled regardless of obedience requires God to disregard justice, mercy, and his other attributes. He will not do that! Furthermore, He loves us too much to take away our free-will so that every word of His would be fulfilled. If He did that, He would be a tyrant and not a loving-King.
Food for Thought: We have to move a muscle to enter into the good things God has already spoken over us.