Psalm 6

“Adonai, turn!” (6:5)

The idea that God changes is challenging to many people. If God changes, then the earlier pronouncements of God must not have been correct – therefore, God is not perfect. If God was perfect, then God would never need to change. However, God’s covenant and relationship is with us, with human beings, and perforce needs to change because we change. God’s changes, then, are motivated by who we are at any given moment. God’s malleability, therefore, is a model for us. If God can change and respond to us, then we can change and respond not only to God, but to the people around us. Where do you need to change?

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3 thoughts on “Psalm 6

  1. Rabbi, what about these versus that state that Hashem does not change? Malachi 3:6, Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Isaiah 46:9-11; and Ezekiel 24:14. Although, there are instances of Hashem relenting following repentance, He doesn’t actually change His essence, right? Psalms 119:89 says His word stands firm in the heavens, and throughout the Tanakh it says His love and mercy are everlasting. For change to take place, that would imply a time frame in which change happened. But, throughout Tanakh, it says Hashem is Eternal and not constrained to time.

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    • Good point, Wendy. What do we do with conflicting verses? In this case, I’d suggest that they represent different views of God, probably in different situations. There are certainly times when we are in a particular experience and pray for things to change. Perhaps we believe that God put us in that situation and we pray for relief.

      The classic Biblical example of God’s changing is the story of Noah, in which God expresses regret at the creation of humanity.

      In any case, I am not doing systematic theology or Bible study, but taking a phrase that catches my attention and using that phrase for personal spiritual development. It may have jumped out at me because at that moment I needed to be more open to change.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

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