Does God adapt his plans based on what we do? Is his plan fluid and changing? This is hard for us to understand when looking at the surface and in a worldly since. When we correctly understand God, we can fully understand this issue. We must look at what he makes known about himself in scripture. This is not a specific discussion about God’s Sovereignty and our Free Will but more focused on God’s Plan and its relation to mankind and how it is perceived in space and time.
God is Eternal.
Psalms 90:2 declares God’s eternal state. This also shows that God is outside of time and sees time all at once. Therefore he knows the past, present, and future. This truth about God directly effects the issue at hand. (Psalm 33:11; 41:13; John 17:5; 2 Timothy 1:9).
If God already knows the past, present, and future; why would he need to adapt and change his plans?
God also declares that he does not change. Malachi 3:6 God affirms, “I the Lord do not change.” (also study Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Isaiah 46:9-11; and Ezekiel 24:14.) Why would he need to change if he already knows? This is known as God’s Immutability.
God Knows Everything (1 John 3:20).
Because God is outside of time and sees all things at once, there is absolutely no reason to change, if he already knew what is going to happen (Matthew 10:29-30). It then can be said that the change (from our perspective) was in fact part of his plan to begin with. He knows how history will play out even to the end of history (Isaiah 46:9-10). Even before you speak or do anything, he already knows
(Psalm 139:4) and even before your birth, he knows what you will do and say (Psalm 139:1-3, 15-16). And not just you but everyone that will ever exist, presently and in the future (1 Kings 8:39). Because he knows everything; he does not learn. He is the source of all knowledge.
Given his eternal state, immutability, and knowing everything; we can know this:
God’s plan is perfect. He is not surprised by anything in time. He is not surprised by our actions or words. His perfect plan for history and our own lives plays out IN TIME. From our perspective, plans change. Life events happen causing us to adapt. But we are not outside of time and not all knowing. In his perfect plan, he causes us to adapt and be fluid all within his will.
God’s plan is complete. He knows exactly how he wants his plan to play out and knows exactly how it WILL play out IN TIME. In our limited understanding we do not know these things. His plan starts how He wants it to (in time) while already knowing how it will end.
Did God Know Adam and Eve would sin?
Of course. If he did not, he would be ignorant and not perfect. Does God know when you WILL sin? Of course. He knows everyone’s future. He leads us through our changes in life knowing exactly where we are being led to. He allowed Adam and Eve to sin already knowing how humanity was going to be redeemed because of it. He perfectly maintains man’s free will in his redemptive plan.
There are logical problems with believing God adapts and changes. This directly implies that God does not know the future, and does not know the best possible plan and how to get there. Essentially claiming that God is not perfect and is ignorant. It is an implied limitation on God. Limited in knowledge and limited by time and space. At its core, it is a lack of faith in who God is. God is eternal, out side of time, creator of time, and source of all that is truth; or he is not.
Open theism is the belief that God’s absolute Omniscience is not compatible with mans free will and thus God can no know the future for man to have free will. But that is an mistakenly assumed conclusion. Some attempt to interpret and understand certain passages in the bible to justify this assumed conclusion but it can still be reconciled with God’s absolute Omniscience (Psalm 139:4, 16). Gotquestions.org explains this: “Open theism bases these beliefs on
Scripture passages which describe God “changing His mind” or “being
surprised” or “seeming to gain knowledge” (Genesis 6:6; 22:12; Exodus 32:14; Jonah 3:10).
In light of the many other Scriptures that declare God’s knowledge of
the future, these Scriptures should be understood as God describing
Himself in ways that we can understand. God knows what our actions and
decisions will be, but He “changes His mind” in regard to His actions
based on our actions. God’s disappointment at the wickedness of humanity
does not mean He was not aware it would occur.” It can be reconciled and correctly understood by allowing scripture to interpret scripture. Open Theism is just another extreme on the opposite end from Hyper Calvinism. Just like how mankind are not pre-programmed robots, God is not ignorant, not limited by time and space, and not lacking in knowledge. He is God.
God did not just condescend himself in the form of man (Jesus of Nazareth) but he also condescends himself in describing himself (through scripture) so that we can understand what could not be understood otherwise. Correctly interpreting scripture is fundamental to truly understanding God and his plan (read Correctly Interpret and Understand The Bible).
Is God hoping things will go his way so the book of revelations is not possibly false in the future? Did God hope Jesus, as a baby, would not be killed by the decisions and actions of man before growing up? When God revealed the Daniel 9 timeline to Daniel, was he hoping it happens exactly how he gave it to Daniel (read DANIEL 9: Timeline To The Messiah)? How can He be absolutely sure Jesus would die on the cross and not another less sufficient way? Is there a possibility that Jesus’ timeline to the end of the age may not happen if mankind decides to later come to world peace (read The End Times P1: Jesus’ Outline)? The answer to all these is; God is absolutely God. He planned it, saw it, and made it happen before the foundations of the world and was not conditional based on the actions of man. He declared it, it happened. He declares it, it WILL happen absolutely. In eternity, everything God has ordained to happen, has already happened. This is an understanding that takes faith and illumination of the Holy Spirit to receive.
Are You Greater than God?
Can you foil God’s plan? Can you overthrow God’s plan? Do your actions trump God’s? When Jesus physically returns to judge the world, can people trump God’s plan and just kill Jesus a second time? When Jesus says “Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.” in John 6:37 does that mean whom ever the father gives MAY NOT come, depending on how they feel about Jesus and their own personal agendas? God’s plan is absolute and thankfully incorporates our free will.
God does not need to adapt or change his plans because he already knows the past, present, and future of all time. He is eternal and perfect. Thus his plan is perfect and complete. We, in our finite minds, just can’t see it yet. Some people have faith in God’s absolute infinite goodness and perfect plan; others try to belittle God and justify their natural desire for godlike control (even if they do not realize it). From a worldly perspective, life changes in time and space. From an eternal perspective, there is no change only timeless perfection and completeness of all things that have and will pass in time. If anything, we should be thankful and grateful he allows our free will to exist within his absolute sovereign plan; that in his foreknowledge of our sin before our birth, he still allows for our existence because of his eternal timeless unchanging plan for our absolute redemption or perfectly just opportunities of redemption.
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