Does God make mistakes?
God is perfect (Psalm 18:30; Matthew 5:48). Deuteronomy 32:4 teaches, "The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he." Since God is perfect, He cannot make mistakes.
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Some suggest that when an earthquake, hurricane, or other natural disaster takes place that God has done something wrong or has made a mistake. However, this argument fails to make a distinction between a perfect God and fallen creation. Romans 8:20-22 says, "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now." The natural laws of earth allow for storms, tornadoes, volcanoes, and other phenomena. God may choose to supernaturally intervene at times, but the occurrence of a natural disaster does not take away from God's perfection or power.
Others suggest that human disease or disability is due to mistakes made by God. However, all people are made in God's image (Genesis 1:27) and are loved by God (John 3:16). Disease and disability occur naturally as part of human life that is stained by sin (Genesis 3). God can and often does use human weakness in powerful ways to display His glory and change lives (2 Corinthians 12:10). In the end, God will remove the curse of sin and its impact on humanity (Revelation 22:3). Revelation 21:4 teaches, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
Biblically, some have suggested that God made a mistake due to Genesis 6:6 where we read, "And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart." However, the larger context reveals that God was not sorry for creating all people. Instead, He was displeased with the extent to which sin permeated the world. From eternity, God has had a plan to redeem the earth and ultimately create a new earth (Ephesians 1:7-10). Part of the plan was to destroy the majority of His original creation save for Noah and his family. While human sin clearly offends God, the sins of people do not mean God has made a mistake. The entrance of sin into the world came through human means and the work of Satan, the serpent (Genesis 2—3), and has resulted in ongoing sin that is redeemed through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Other places in Scripture also highlight God's perfections. For example, Psalm 40:5 teaches, "You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told." Romans 8:28 also points out that everything God does has a purpose: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
The Bible is clear that the perfect God of the universe does not make mistakes. However, we live in a fallen world where people sin and the Lord is grieved. In addition, natural disasters as well as human disease and disability are part of the natural operations of the world. Even in these cases, God has a special purpose for everything that takes place, and for the life of each person. In the end, God will remove the curse of sin and make all things new (Revelation 21:5).
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