God is Omniscient – “He Sees and Knows” Everything

9 10 2007

God is honored when we “set our minds on things above” and seek to worship and appreciate Him. A key to avoiding sin and listless worldliness in our lives is to focus our thoughts on what God has revealed of Himself to us of His nature and attributes. We are very, very, very, very limited in our knowledge and understanding of God. Thank God for what He has revealed of Himself to us through the Scriptures and nature!

In Concise Theology – A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois – 1993) Reformed Theologian J. I. Packer discusses God’s Omniscience (p. 31-32):

Omniscient is a word that means “knowing everything.” Scripture declares that God’s eyes run everywhere (Job 24:23; Psalms 33:13-15, 139:13-16; Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 16:17; Hebrews 4:13). He searches all hearts and observes everyone’s ways (1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Kings 8:39; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalms 139:1-6, 23; Jeremiah 17:10; Luke 16:15; Romans 8:27; Revelations 2:23) — in other words, he knows everything about everything and everybody all the time. Also, 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). Nor does he have to “access” information about things, as a computer might retrieve a file; all his knowledge is always immediately and directly before his mind. Bible writers stand in awe of the capacity of God’s mind in this regard (Psalms 139:1-6: 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14, 28; cf. Romans 11:33-36).”

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Psalm 139:1-6

(1) O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
(2) You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.
(3) You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
(4) Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
(5) You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
(6) Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

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Packer goes on to state:

“God’s knowledge is linked to his sovereignty: he knows each thing, both in itself and in relation to all other things, because he created it, sustains it, and now makes it function every moment according to his plan for it (Ephesians 1:11). The idea that God could know, and foreknow, everything without controlling everything seems not only unscriptural but nonsensical.”

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Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,”

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Similarly, here are some quotes about God’s Knowledge from Chapter 3 of A. W. Pink’s book, The Attributes of God (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan – 2001):

http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Attributes/attributes.htm

  • “His knowledge is perfect. He never errs, never changes, never overlooks anything. “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13).”
  • “But to the believer, the fact of God’s omniscience is a truth fraught with much comfort. In times of perplexity he says with Job, “But He knoweth the way that I take.” (Job 23:10). It may be profoundly mysterious to me, quite incomprehensible to my friends, but “He knoweth!” In times of weariness and weakness believers assure themselves “He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). In times of doubt and suspicion they appeal to this very attribute saying, “Search me, 0 God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23,24). In time of sad failure, when our actions have belied our hearts, when our deeds have repudiated our devotion, and the searching question comes to us, “Lovest thou Me?;” we say, as Peter did, “Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee” (John 21:17).
  • “Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5). God not only knows whatsoever has happened in the past in every part of His vast domains, and He is not only thoroughly acquainted with everything that is now transpiring throughout the entire universe, but He is also perfectly cognizant with every event, from the least to the greatest, that ever will happen in the ages to come. God’s knowledge of the future is as complete as is His knowledge of the past and the present, and that, because the future depends entirely upon Himself. Were it in anywise possible for something to occur apart from either the direct agency or permission of God, then that something would be independent of Him, and He would at once cease to be Supreme.”
  • “The infinite knowledge of God should fill us with amazement. How far exalted above the wisest man is the Lord! None of us knows what a day may bring forth, but all futurity is open to His omniscient gaze. The infinite knowledge of God ought to fill us with holy awe. Nothing we do, say, or even think, escapes the cognizance of Him with whom we have to do: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3). What a curb this would be unto us, did we but meditate upon it more frequently! Instead of acting recklessly, we should say with Hagar, “Thou God seest me” (Genesis 16:13). The apprehension of God’s infinite knowledge should fill the Christian with adoration. The whole of my life stood open to His view from the beginning. He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding; yet, nevertheless, fixed His heart upon me. Oh, how the realization of this should bow me in wonder and worship before Him!”

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Romans 11:33-36

(33) Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

(34) For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?

(35) Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN?

(36) For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

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So, here in Colby, Kansas we strive to do well for our families, our jobs, our churches, and in every other aspect of our lives. God is omniscent – He knows everything! And since He is sovereign and is carrying out His eternal decree / purposes in a manner consistent with His Holy character – we can trust Him for everything. Lord God, I pray to remember this in all aspects of my life. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

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One response

10 10 2007
dec

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.”

Amen. Thanks for all the references. A valuable resource.




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