I blame Susanne. Again. I think it was one of the posts on Tradition and whether or not it should be changed (and the answer is no, for Tradition. Little 't' traditions are different.) where somewhere in the comments the idea that does God change got brought up. And it's sort of been stewing in the back of my mind.
It reminded me, somehow, of something I said in my old posts on the death penalty. That God does not change. He is the same God in the Old Testament as He is in the New. Which, for the purposes of those posts, was about showing that if God approved of the death penalty under certain circumstances in the Old Testament then there must still be approval of the death penalty in the New Testament.
We tend to think of God differently for some reason, but He didn't really change. We think of Christ as...nice and cuddly basically. It's all about love. And the God of the Old Testament is all about wrath and punishment. But if you step back and look, there are instances of love from God in the Old Testament. Actually, the entire act of creation is one of love on the grandest scale. There are moments of kindness, even. Forgiveness. There's punishment, sure. But so there are in the New.
I tend to think of it as the evolving relationship of a parent to a child. Keeping in mind that all analogy or metaphor used to speak of God falls far short of the reality and has inherent flaws, of course. When you're a small child your parent seems harsh and authoritarian. There's a certain kind of relationship. You're too small to understand the reasoning behind things that you should or shouldn't do. It is very much a dictatorial relationship. But once you've become an adult, your relationship with your parent changes. You're more on a level with them. (Which is one place where the analogy falls far short, admittedly.) You understand better the reasoning and can be directed more gently.
Part of the problem is that we can only see things after they have occurred. We are incredibly limited creatures and have no way to grasp the entire plan. We have bits and pieces, but we're really just reacting to what has happened and guessing at what might happen. God knows everything. He knows what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen for all time. So things that might seem odd to us are really just parts of the plan - necessary bits that we can't quite wrap our heads around because we don't get it all.
This is basically how I look at it: "God moves in extremely mysterious, not to say, circuitous ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players*, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time."Footnote to above: * ie., everybody. - Good Omens, Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (Gratuitous GO quote!)
Another thought. The idea that God might change is actually fairly terrifying. It's...you have a being of infinite and ultimate power. There is nothing that you can do to this being. It created you. It created the rules of the universe, the principles upon which everything operates and is sustained. Let's say that one day God changes. He changes His mind about gravity. *whoosh* Bye bye! God as a mutable person is a bad thing. It takes us back to the pagan pantheons, who were moody and extremely human in their motivations. One second they were on your side, the next they weren't. They were projections of humanity onto the world. God is not like that. The world is a reflection of God, covered over and stained, but still a reflection of Him. If He changes, the world changes. Reality changes and nothing is certain.