Many would say that since God knows all things, he does not change his mind. Yet the Bible frequently speaks of God’s mercy in terms of God relenting from threatened judgment. God’s intentions—both for blessings and punishment—are often tied to our response. God in his sovereignty can make promises that are conditional, dependent upon the obedient response of his people. God’s judgments can also be conditional, dependent on the continued refusal of his people to repent (see Jer 18:8–10).
God wants us to see him as a God who cares passionately for his people and longs to have a loving relationship with us. To dramatize the depths of God’s love for Israel, Hosea spoke of him changing his mind, still looking for some glimmer of response from the people.