Let us look at some verses which have purported the allegation that god repented:
The LORD repented (nacham) that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain
If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent (nacham) of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent (nacham) me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.
Who can tell if God will turn and repent (nacham), and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
The problem is, nothing in those verses clarify in what manner or definition was repentance intended to mean. Was it in human terms?
Obviously not as god dont repent in human terms as it say:
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
1 Samuel 15:11,29,35
It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.
And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.
And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.
Therefore, to say god repents must not be taken by how we define repentance in the vernacular:
- : to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrongthat you did and that you want to do what is right
God repenting must be taken by how god contextually expressed the idea which in this case is not in human terms, or that is, to be sorry from wrong things done as nothing in god’s action is wrong.
To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Therefore, to have a clearer outlook on the subject, first of all we must not interpret repent by how our vernacular suggests but to see it through biblical scope, and how is repenting defined biblically? Let us read:
1 Chronicles 21:15
And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
So as you can see, how repent was used, it was to stop what god has purposed to do so on correct perspective and deriving a conclusion from context that it wasnt how the vernacular defines it that matters, we have then to consider it in biblical terms. Repent simply means to stop what god has purposed to do. Nothing in those terms suggest any relation to what the vernacular suggests that is to be sorry from wrong doing.
Lastly, some translation used the word grieved instead of repent. Still, its logical seeing that god have felt emotion and hurt from our rebelliousness.
The fact of the matter is that God is not indifferent towards sinners but is hurt and angered by our sins and rebellion:
“How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness And grieved Him in the desert!” Psalm 78:40
“You have bought Me not sweet cane with money, Nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; Rather you have burdened Me with your sins, You have wearied Me with your iniquities.” Isaiah 43:24
“But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.” Isaiah 63:10
“Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations.” Ezekiel 6:9
So whether god repents or is grieved is not problematic to even the least that matters. We should only have to look at it in the scope of biblical thought.
So if god stops what he purposed, does it not suggest a change of mind?
Obviously, it does as he did in terms of abrogation. An example is the change of covenants:
The law and the prophets were until john…
In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Therefore, its not a problem how god could have second thoughts. The problem is how many attributes to god the term repent in such a way to have it defined in human terms, notwithstanding, they left out the biblical scope.