We may have heard it a lot of times that God does not change. God is an immutable God. Immutable means God is not capable of change. In the passage above and in many others, we will be able read that God DOES change but not in the way that you are thinking.
God’s immutability is centred around His nature and attributes. God does not change in the sense that He will always be God. His Word will always be the truth. His love for us will never end. His plan for us will certainly not change. God’s plan for this world has been set even before creation. Everything about God’s plan for you and me is set and will not change. Unfortunately, it is us who change.
God in His nature cannot change. He will not stop loving you and me. That is His nature. He cannot stop being gracious or compassionate. That is why there a lot of times that when the nation of Israel truly repents of its sins, He relents and forgives. Does that mean He changed? NO! It was His plan already. He cannot change Himself because that will be contradictory to His nature. Everything about God is perfect that is why He does not have a need to change.
Let me give you an example.
If I keep on sinning and always ask God for His forgiveness then I will be saved because God will always forgive me due to the fact that He does not change right? Wrong! God hates sin. And if you keep on sinning with the thought that God will always forgive you, then you are making a grave mistake. The Bible said that God has set a boundary for His grace. It is called justice. Intentional and continual sinning is a conscious knowledge that you are disobeying God. God is also immutably just–it means sin needs to be punished.
Jesus Christ gave His life so that we may be saved from eternal separation from God because of our sin. That fact will not change, even if we sin. Let me qualify that. If we sin because we yielded to temptation and realize that we failed Him and go back to God then we will be forgiven. But if we keep on sinning knowing it fully well then the sacrifice that Jesus did for us is forfeited. Hebrews 10:26-27 says, “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.”
In the passage in 2 Chronicles 12, we read here how Solomon’s heir, Rehoboam was saved from disaster because he and the leaders of Judah heeded the word of the prophet Shemaiah. Rehobam and the leaders humbled themselves and recognised that they deserve what was about to happen. That was what the Lord saw. He saw genuine repentance. So in His grace and mercy, He “changed” His mind and relented. He did pursue His original plan but instead executed another.
Did God’s nature change? No it did not. He just did what He always does.