Sunday, May 26, 2019

Omniscience of God (part 1) What is Omniscience?

The Omniscience of God

What does it mean when we say God is Omniscience? To break down the word “Omni” means all,
and “science” means knowledge, thus Omniscience means all knowledge. But when we say that God is Omniscience, we are saying that God knows all there is to know.  In fact, if anything was outside the knowledge of God, God would not be God!
“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13 (NASB)

What this means is there is nothing hidden from God, there is nothing that happens without His knowledge of it. Past, present or future. Because God has infinite knowledge, He can not increase in knowledge, (Psalm 147:5). He knows every event that has happened from the beginning of time to the end of history (Isaiah 46:9-10), and every detail of every event (Matthew 10:29-30)

Because of His Omniscience, God cannot learn, or be informed of anything new, not even in our prayers do we inform God of anything new, or anything we may want, but through prayer we come in line with what God has already preordained to be. Therefore nothing happens overtly to His attention.  God is neither surprised by the way the world works itself out, nor shocked by the choices we make. 
One of my favorite Bible verses is

Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

This passage has done more to strengthen me in times of difficulty than any other passage, and I’m sure I’m not the only person that can say that. But What exactly does that mean? Or how does God work all things out for the good? And who are those that are called according to his purposes?  More importantly, what does this has to do with Omniscience?

Omniscience, God’s knowledge of all things, past, present and future, and of every event that will and has ever happened is the passive part of another attribute of God called His Providence. What providence is, is the natural events in history that God intertwines, their timing, location, and depth. So that they meet at a location in time perfect for God’s will and purposes to be achieved.

We see this with Joseph who through a series of otherwise wicked events was put second in command of Egypt so that his father and brother’s family would have a place to live. We also see this in the Book of Ester, where through a series of what looked like unrelated events in that  Ester was made queen, Mortdecai saves Ahasuerus life and Haman the Agagite who had devised a plot to annihilate the Jews was made to look like he was molesting the Queen in the kings’ own house and was hung on the very gallow he built to hang Mortdecai. All of this happened to fulfill God's plan and promise that the seed of women would crush the head of the serpent and Jesus would die on the cross at Golgotha to reconcile us back to the Father in heaven. (Genesis 3:15 Isaiah 53:12Luke 18:31-34)

So because God is Omniscience He could know all things and every event in time and space, By his Sovereignty do what-so-ever he desired, and by His providence intertwined every event, location person place, and thing in such a way that His will and purposes are met.

Yet the knowledge of God is not limited to what he knows past, presence and future or God knowledge is not just limited by everything in time. God also knows the outcome of every circumstance and every possible circumstance whether it has actually happened or not. This type of God’s omniscience is called Middle Knowledge, it presumes that God knows the outcome of all counterfactuals or “if, then” statement.

For instance Jesus explicitly says, twice, that under different circumstances certain people would have made a different free choice of whether or not to repent (Matthew 11:21–2, Luke 10:13). Jesus also refers to different outcomes under different circumstances (Matthew 26:24John 14:2). God also references different choices leading to different results in the Old Testament (Exodus 9:15Isaiah 48:17–19). Further, the Bible clearly states that God allows us to make choices contrary to His preferences (Matthew 23:372 Peter 3:9Psalm 5:10Isaiah 30:1).  Though seldom taught this doctrine of God middle knowledge is well within orthodoxy of scriptures.

If you love God you have to know that His omniscience and providence was not just working in ancient times. Many of us have not come from the best life. We may have done something that we are not proud of, lived a life lifestyle that we now regret, hurt people we should have loved, lied to those that trusted us, stole from those that would have given us the world, even some of us raped or murdered. But somehow right now, by the grace of God we no longer desire that past life. We put away that old man, and even though we really love God, we might be confused into thinking that we have changed our lives.  We sometimes get it wrong when we say “I found Jesus  because it wasn’t Jesus that had gone astray, it was us.

Acts 17:26-27 says “ And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories.,  that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us”

God had been since the beginning of time searching to put us in the right places and locations and situations to save us. And he did this through his Omniscience, his knowledge of all things.

Your Brother in Christ