“Nothing relating to the future is in anywise uncertain so far as the actualization of God’s counsels are concerned. None of His decrees are left contingent on creatures or secondary causes. There is no future event which is only a mere possibility, that is, something which may or may not come to pass.” Arthur Pink
Omniscience literally means to “have all (omni) knowledge (science).” Since God is eternally existent, He is therefore capable of knowing everything because His knowledge of everything and everyone is eternally existent. This is in contrast to our knowledge which is finite or limited because we are finite creatures. Let us set forth the following observations concerning God’s omniscience.
First, God’s knowledge is comprehensive. The word “comprehensive’ means complete, full, wide-ranging, far-reaching and thorough. Proverbs 15:3 says, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch upon the evil and the good.” In other words, God’s knowledge of all things, past, present and future, is completely complete. God is lacking nothing regarding His knowledge.
God’s comprehensive knowledge extends to all that is in creation. Psalm 147:4 says, “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” Man cannot do this (Genesis 15:5). Matthew 10:29-31 says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Second, God’s comprehensive knowledge extends to everything that happens in His creation. In other words, God knows everything that has happened, is happening and will happen. Proverbs 5:21 says, “For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He watches all his paths.”
Philosophers question the omniscience of God when evil events occur. For example, 9/11. The reasoning by many is that if God is all-knowing, why didn’t He do anything to stop the events on that tragic day? Their conclusion is that God is therefore not all-knowing and the events of 9/11 took God as much by surprise as it did everyone else. The Bible, however, says otherwise.
Daniel 2:21-24 says, “Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. And said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”
I John 3:20 says, “”For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”
Psalm 94:11 says, “The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.”
Colossians 2:3 says, “in whom (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Arthur Pink explains, “It should, however, be pointed out that neither God’s knowledge nor His cognition of the future, considered simply in themselves, are causative. Nothing has ever come to pass, or ever will, merely because God knew it. The cause of all things is the will of God. So God’s knowledge does not arise from things because they are or will be, but because He has ordained them to be. God knew and foretold the crucifixion of His Son many hundreds of years before He became incarnate, and this, because in the divine purpose, He was a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world: hence we read of His being ‘delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God’ (Acts 2:23).”
I do not know why God did not prevent the events from occurring on 9/11; or for that matter December 7, 1941, or even November 22, 1963. What I do know is that He is perfectly aware of all which has occurred in the past, is occurring in the present, and will occur in the future and He has a purpose for all of it. He is trustworthy.
This is the omniscient God of whom we are called to know. We should be filled with amazement and adoration.
Soli deo Gloria!