Knowing God: The Omniscience of God, Part 2!

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!

 

 

 

 

Knowing God: The Omniscience of God!

“O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” (Psalm 139:1-6).

Dr. J.I. Packer once wrote concerning the knowledge of God that “a little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about Him.”

There are two phrases the psalmist David uses in Psalm 139:1-6 which I want to highlight for you. They are, in referring to the LORD’s knowledge, (1) “acquainted with all my ways and (2) “you know it altogether.” Both phrases refer the reader to the omniscience of God. David was saying that there is nothing of which God does not know. In our study of knowing God, it is wise for us to understand that at the same time we are seeking to know God, God knows us completely: past, present and future.

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.

Theologian and author Arthur Pink writes, “God is omniscient. He knows everything: everything possible, everything actual; all events and all creatures, of the past, the present, and the future. He is perfectly acquainted with every detail in the life of every being in heaven, in earth, and in hell.”

King David said, Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. (Psalm 139:6). One commentator explains, David’s initial response to this staggering knowledge was that he was troubled. Like many who respond to the fact of God’s omniscience, he thought it was confining, that God had besieged him and cupped His hand over him. Moreover, this kind of knowledge was out of David’s control—it was too wonderful for him. The word “wonderful” is in the emphatic position, at the beginning of the sentence, meaning “extraordinary or surpassing.” In other words divine omniscience is too high for humans to comprehend.”

If we truly know ourselves as sinners, then it stands to reason that God’s omniscience may cause us great uneasiness. He knows everything about us. However, the understanding of God’s omniscience should cause believers in Christ to have great comfort that God knows everything which is occurring in our lives. As Job said, “But he (God) knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (Job 23:10).

God knows when I am weary (Psalm 103:14). He knows when I am filled with doubt and disbelief (Psalm 139:23-24). He knows when I am a failure (John 21: 16-19). Consequently, believers in Christ should be filled with holy awe, amazement and adoration of God in light of God’s omniscience.

As one commentator writes, “Omniscient” means “all-knowing.” Scripture declares that God’s eyes run everywhere (Job 24:23; Psalm 33:13-15, 139:13-16; Prov 15:3; Jeremiah 16:17; Hebrews 4:13). He searches all hearts and observes everyone’s ways (1 Sam 16:7; 1 Kings 8:39; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 139:1-6, 23; Jeremiah 17:10; Luke 16:15; Romans 8:27; Revelation 2:23). In other words, he knows everything all of the time. He knows the future no less than the past and the present, and possible events that never happen no less than the actual events that do (1 Samuel 23:9-13; 2 Kings 13:19; Psalm 81:14-15; Isaiah 48:18-19). He does not have to acquire information about things; all his knowledge is immediately and directly before his mind. The authors of the Bible stood in awe of the capacity of God’s mind (Psalm 139:1-6; 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14, 28; cf. Romans 11:33-36).”

Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139:4).

Soli deo Gloria!