RABBI GUTMANN answers ...

As a simple, one word answer, No, I do not believe man can "change God's mind." However, in the instances where it appears that that happens, it is man that is affected, who acts differently! Moses becomes a fervent intercessor, like Abraham regarding Sodom and Gomorrah, though in that instance Abraham was to find that even his lowest estimate of the righteous population there was too high-even Lot's wife had her heart set, like their children, in Sodom's godless society. Jonah knew the score-that's why he fled in the opposite direction to God's call. He reckoned that even though God's message was "Yet 40 days and Ninevah will be destroyed," the people would repent, turn to God, and be spared judgment. That prospect was not relished by Jonah! However, it was the people of Ninevah who changed their "minds" not God!

SANDRA JEFFERY answers ...

This is one of the most astounding teachings of the Bible – that we can influence God. If it wasn’t a real relationship with Him, we couldn’t. Isaiah 1: 18 ‘Come now, let us reason together…’ says the Lord’. Luke 11: 5 – 13 ‘…Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you…’ Christianity is all about keeping our relationship with God and others healthy, and is a doctrine of repentance and reconciliation both physically and spiritually through the renewing of our minds by the washing of God’s Word and prayer. There would be no purpose to pray (communicate) with God if He were not personal and open to hear our thoughts and hearts desires. This is what makes our prayer life worthwhile and wonderful!

RABBI CRAWFORD answers ...

I believe we can plead with G-d and change His mind to a degree. I believe He will listen to our pleas and decide how He will want to use the situation. I believe that the golden calf incident was a time when the people had to drink the water- this is what changed their DNA so that they could be identified through the ages.

MOSHE COHEN answers ...

This question is intriguing. Abraham also questioned G-d and seemed to reason with Him. Perhaps the most sensible way to think of this is that G-d is relational. He counts us as His sons and daughters and is a good Father, well, a perfect Father of course. Children who have a good relationship with their earthly fathers know they can talk to him about anything, and can reason with him. I believe that is what these verses teach us about the Father heart of HaSham. He wants us to be so intimate with Him that we can talk to Him about anything, even to the point of reasoning with Him and asking Him questions about His decisions. This amazing, isn't it? We can talk to, and even question, the Master and Creator of the universe. The Almighty has given us many of His attributes, including reasoning and questioning; even to the point of debating with Him and trying to change His mind. Amazing.

RABBI JOSEPH KRESEFSKY answers ...

No, man cannot change G_d’s mind; His mind has never been changed. All that occurs is a product of His decree...even the fervent prayers offered by Moshe and Avraham – even Y’shua...they were all a means appointed by G_d to accomplish His sovereign purpose.

1 Sam 15:29 – “Moreover, the Eternal One of Isra'el will not lie or change his mind, because he isn't a mere human being subject to changing his mind."

What you see take place between G_d and Moshe in the example that you’ve shared, is really a test for Moshe. Moshe interceded on behalf of Yisra’el – this is what our Creator was looking for in a Leader. Moshe passed the test!