The third attribute of God we are going to discuss is his omniscience. When we say God is omniscient we are saying He has a complete and unlimited knowledge, awareness, and understanding of absolutely everything. Simply put, God knows all things. I may have presented a fairly simplistic view of God’s all-comprehending knowledge, so allow me to try and unpack things a bit.
God’s omniscience very much follows from his omnipresence. Wondering how the two are related? Look at it this way, since God is equally present everywhere, all things are transacted in his presence. In other words God knows all because He sees all (Prov 15:3). However, God’s knowledge is not merely limited to his observation of the events that take place in his presence. He also has perfect knowledge of the very thoughts and intents of all of his creation (Psalm 139:1-4, Prov 15:11, Ezek 11:5, Mark 2:6-8, Acts 1:24). Sounds like a pretty complete knowledge. Just wait, there is more.
The Bible also reveals that God possesses knowledge such that He knows all things ‘actual’ and all things ‘potential’. Let me try and explain my last statement. By virtue of God’s will and purpose, He knows exactly what He will allow and what He will affect. This is why God not only knows what was and is, but everything that will be (Isa 42:9, Isa 46:9-10). Since God knows everything that will happen and will exist He knows all that will actually be. In addition, God alone understands what infinite power can effect, and therefore knows all things potential. The Bible gives several examples where God reveals such knowledge when He shares what could happen or what would have happened (2 Kings 13:18-19, Matt 11:20-24).
So in essence there never was, and never will be a time when our thoughts and actions are beyond his comprehension and watchful eye. Armed with this knowledge I suppose there are three responses one might have. We can deny it, we can believe it while never allowing this knowledge to have any practical effect on our lives, or we can be comforted by it. How can one find comfort in God’s omniscience? Well, we already comfort ourselves in God’s display of love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). However, this takes on an even deeper meaning when we understand God knew each and every one of our sins and struggles before time began, and yet He still planned on sacrificing his Son for us. Therefore, no matter the nature and severity of our sin we can be reassured that God wasn’t taken by surprise, and even in light of his knowledge of our sin, He loved us and chose to save us. In that there is great comfort. Here are some more scriptures that speak to the omniscience of God:
Job 37:16 “Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,”
Psalm 139:16 “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
Matt 6:8 “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Matt 10:29-30 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.”
1 Cor 2:10-11 “these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
1 John 3:20 “for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”
To Be Continued
More In The Series
9) Infinite God