Come with me on a journey back to Mount Sinai about 3500 years ago. God has just given out his commandments and guidelines for how to live, having rescued His people from Egyptian slavery. And in return His people have made a promise to keep the law.
The first commandment was, 'You must not have any other gods except me,' and yet with these words still ringing in their ears and the ink still wet on their contract, God's people have made themselves a golden calf to be their gods. But the worst is yet to come : they then exclaim, 'Israel these are your gods who brought you out of Egypt.'
Not only is God being ignored but something else is getting the credit for the amazing things He's done! How would that make you feel? How does it make the creator of the universe feel?
God is unsurprisingly upset and angry! So angry in fact that He tells Moses, 'I am going to destroy them. Then I will make you and your descendants a great nation.' This is a big moment in the story of God. A showdown moment if you like. This statement echoes back to the destruction that Noah witnessed and the promises given to Abraham. Is God really prepared to rewind back to those points in his story? Is he prepared to wipe out the progress made since then?
But Moses steps in and pleads with his leader and rescuer, crying out don't give up on us! Remember how far we've come!
And then it is recorded, 'So the LORD changed His mind and did not destroy the people as he said He might.' He was not giving up on his people despite the pain they'd caused Him!
Does God change His mind? This suggests so. For me this is amazing that the ultimate being allows Himself to be influenced by the needs, the actions and the pleading of His creation. We are not puppets on strings that are controlled to tell God's story. We have influence and involvement within it, as Moses showed.