2

What the Biblical basis for the belief that God cannot be manipulated?

My attempts so far:

  • Job 42, 2
  • Psalm 115, 3

I am looking for something that indicates that God cannot be manipulated more explicitly, e.g. by no magic practices.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because per this accepted answer in Meta it is not an acceptable verse-search question. – Matt Gutting Nov 17 '17 at 19:11
  • @MattGutting , the meta question deals with whether the question can be tagged as a bona fide verse search or not, not whether it is an off-topic question. The OP did not tag the question as a verse search, so your objection here isn't relevant, I think. What other criteria lead you to conclude this question is off topic? – guest37 Nov 17 '17 at 21:10
  • @guest37 the meta question specifically asked "Are topic-based bible query questions OK?" and the answers talk about the circumstances under which such questions, and other verse search questions, are acceptable. It's only related to the tag insofar as that tag is used to identify the questions. – Matt Gutting Nov 17 '17 at 23:30
  • @MattGutting - When I click the link you provide, it takes me to a page titled 'Where's the boundary line with the “verse-identification” tag?'. Did you mean to link to a different page? – guest37 Nov 18 '17 at 1:00
  • 2
    I edited the question so that it asks for a "Biblical basis", as the guidance in the meta answer provided. If this isn't acceptable to the OP, please re-edit - but it looks like the question will be closed if left as originally written. – guest37 Nov 18 '17 at 2:14
5

The attribute of God closest to what you describe is probably unchangeability.1 In addition to the verses you cite, we might consider what James writes when he says that in the Father of lights there is no variableness neither shadow of turning (1:17). Additionally we might consider:

I am the Lord, I change not (Malachi 3:6)

As a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same (Psalm 102:26-27)


1. John of Damascus, Complete Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, I.XIV, "The properties of the divine nature"

2

The Bible makes it clear that God detests sorcery, magic, and divination.

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (NWT)

9 “When you have entered into the land that Jehovah your God is giving you, you must not learn to imitate the detestable practices of those nations. 10 There should not be found in you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, anyone who employs divination, anyone practicing magic, anyone who looks for omens, a sorcerer, 11 anyone binding others with a spell, anyone who consults a spirit medium or a fortune-teller, or anyone who inquires of the dead. 12 For whoever does these things is detestable to Jehovah, and on account of these detestable practices Jehovah your God is driving them away from before you. 13 You should prove yourself blameless before Jehovah your God.

14 “For these nations that you are dispossessing used to listen to those practicing magic and divination, but Jehovah your God has not allowed you to do anything like this.

Furthermore, the Bible makes it clear that God doesn't assist those who break His laws, which means magic would be ineffective at summoning or controlling God.

Proverbs 28:9 (NWT)

9 The one refusing to listen to the law
—Even his prayer is detestable.

Micah 3:4 (NWT)

4 At that time they will call to Jehovah for help,
But he will not answer them.
He will hide his face from them at that time,
Because of their wicked deeds.

Isaiah 1:15 (NWT)

15 And when you spread out your palms,
I hide my eyes from you.
Although you offer many prayers,
I am not listening;
Your hands are filled with blood.

1 Samuel 28:6 (NWT)

6 Although Saul would inquire of Jehovah, Jehovah never answered him, either in dreams or by the Uʹrim or through the prophets.

On the other hand, God invites us to request his assistance by means of prayer. God answers prayers which are in accordance with His will.

Philippians 4:6 (NWT)

6 Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God;

1 John 5:14 (NWT)

14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that no matter what we ask according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us concerning whatever we are asking, we know that we are to have the things we ask for, since we have asked them of him.

Therefore, God cannot be manipulated into doing something He doesn't want to do. Nothing can stop God from accomplishing His will once He has determined it.

Isaiah 46:10 (NWT)

10 From the beginning I foretell the outcome,
And from long ago the things that have not yet been done.
I say, ‘My decision will stand,
And I will do whatever I please.’

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