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Don Stewart :: Does God Know Everything? (Omniscient)

Don Stewart

The Bible teaches that God is all-knowing or omniscient. The word "omniscient" comes from two Latin words omnis signifying all, and scientia signifying knowledge. When we say that God is omniscient it means that He has perfect knowledge of all things. He does not have to learn anything and He has not forgotten anything. God does not have to reason things out, find out things, or learn them gradually. He knows everything that has happened and everything that will happen. God also knows every potential thing that might happen. God even knows those things that humankind has yet to discover. This knowledge is absolute and unacquired. The omniscience of God means that He has perfect knowledge, perfect understanding, and perfect wisdom as to how to apply the knowledge.

He Is The God Of Knowledge

In the prayer of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, we have the revealed truth that God is a God of knowledge.

Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed (1 Samuel 2:3).

The psalmist wrote.

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 far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it (Psalm 139:1-6).

He Has Infinite Knowledge

The psalmist wrote of God's infinite knowledge.

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; his understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:5).

John the evangelist wrote:

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things (1 John 3:20).

He Has Know Things From Eternity

God has had all knowledge for all eternity:

Known to God from eternity are all his works (Acts 15:18).

His Knowledge Is Without Limit

The Bible clearly teaches that God's knowledge is without limit. The Apostle Paul declared:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out (Romans 11:33).

In Proverbs we read.

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3).

The psalmist declared.

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure (Psalm 147:5).

It Is Not Like Human Knowledge

The knowledge that God has is not like the limited knowledge of human beings.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8,9).

The psalmist wrote.

These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought that I was one just like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you (Psalm 50:21).

His Knowledge Is Perfect

The knowledge of God is perfect. In the Book of Job a man named Elihu said.

Do you know the balance of the clouds, those wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge (Job 37:16).

No One Can Teach Him

Because the knowledge of God is perfect, no one can teach Him anything.

Can anyone teach God knowledge, in that he judges those on high? (Job 21:22).

Paul stated the same truth.

For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became his counselor? (Romans 11:34).

Neither does God have to investigate anything.

For he knows those who are worthless, and he sees iniquity without investigating (Job 11:11).

He Knows What Is Happening On The Earth

Scripture says that God is aware of what is presently happening here on earth.

The Lord said, "I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings" (Exodus 3:7).

He also knows things from the past.

Says the Lord, who makes these things known from long ago (Acts 15:18).

He Predict Events Ahead Of Time

Because God knows everything that will happen, this allows Him to predict the future ahead of time. We read the Lord saying that He,

Declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all my good pleasure (Isaiah 46:10).

God predicted of Abraham.

Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him (Genesis 18:18,19).

Elisha the prophet made the following prediction.

Elisha answered, "Go and say to him, 'You will certainly not recover'; but the LORD has revealed to me that he will in fact die" ((2 Kings 8:10).

His Eyes See All Things

Scripture speaks symbolically of the "eyes of God" seeing all things.

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that he may strongly support those whose heart is completely his (2 Chronicles 16:9).

Jeremiah the prophet recorded the Lord saying.

For my eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from my face, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes (Jeremiah 16:17).

Zechariah recorded.

For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth (Zechariah 4:10).

The psalmist wrote.

Does he who implanted the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? (Psalm 94:9).

His Knowledge Is Denied By The Wicked

Scripture informs us that the wicked question the nature and extent of God's knowledge. They question how God is able to know everything.

And they say, "How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?" Such are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches (Psalm 73:11,12).

They believe God does not see their sin.

And they say, "The LORD does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive." Understand, O dullest of the people; fools, when will you be wise? (Psalm 94:7).

God knows what the evil people think.

Therefore he knows their works, and he overthrows them in the night (Job 34:25).

God Is Perfect In Judgment

Only a God who is perfect in knowledge would be competent to judge humanity. The Bible speaks of that Day of Judgment when the Lord judges all humanity. For God to judge righteously, He must know all things.

But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless (2 Peter 3:7).

When people realize they will have to stand one day before an all-knowing God, this should cause them to evaluate the way they live their lives. Judgment is coming and people need to live in light of it. Jesus said.

For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned (Matthew 12:47).

Humanity Should Take The Warnings Seriously

Because God knows everything the warnings that He gives humankind need to be taken seriously. Since He knows what will happen in the future any warning He gives in for our benefit.

There Is Comfort For Believer

There is great comfort for the believer in the omniscience of God. In all the problems the believer may face we are told by Jesus that, "Your Father knows" (Matthew 6:8).

The Lord searches every heart.

And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever (1 Chronicles 28:9).

The Believer Is Secure In This Knowledge

The believer may rest secure in the knowledge that God knows everything about them. Nothing about any of us will take God by surprise. No one can tell Him anything that would cause Him to cast us out of His presence. He thoroughly knows us.

Whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything (1 John 3:20).

Summary

As we examine what the Scripture has to say about the extent of the knowledge of God several things become clear. First, God is a God of infinite knowledge - there is nothing that He is not aware of. God is not like human beings in His knowledge. He cannot learn anything, does not need to be taught and does not make any mistakes. Consequently He is able to righteously judge humanity for he knows the thought as well as the deed. His omniscience also allows him to predict the future. He knows everything that will happen before it occurs. There is great security for the believer in the omniscience of God. He knows the need of each believer and he promises to meet those needs. All those who have put their trust in him are comforted by the thought of God's omniscience.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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