by Matt Slick
"God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19)
Those who deny that Jesus has two natures, the divine and human, will often quote Numbers 23:19 as proof that Jesus cannot be God in flesh. But this verse is not a challenge to the doctrine that Christ is God in flesh. First of all, at the time Numbers was written, God had not yet become incarnate. So, it is true that God was not then a man--because the Word had not yet become flesh (John 1:1, 14). Remember, the verse says, "God IS not a man . . . " Second, the verse says that "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should repent." In other words, the verse is dealing with the issue that God does not lie nor does he repent (of his sins). The verse isn't denying that the Word becomes incarnate later on. Instead, it is saying that God is not like people because he does not lie, nor does he need to repent from sin.