Come to Jesus Devotional

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By Laura Ackley

The Omniscience of God

Scripture of the Week: “O LORD, You have searched me and known me” (Ps. 139:1).
Extended Reading: Psalm 139:1-6

As a whole, from beginning to end, the Scriptures reveal that God is omniscient. As the One who breathed out and inspired every verse within the Bible, we conclude that God wants us to know of Himself that He possesses all wisdom and knowledge. When we declare of God that He is omniscient, we are defining Him as all-knowing by nature and completely unlike any created being. His knowledge is incomprehensible because we, as His creation, are finite by nature. As the psalmist wrote, “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure” (Ps. 147:5). He knows everything past, present, and future. We could never compile a list sufficient to outline the extent of God’s knowledge. We have nothing to compare Him to—He is stand-alone wise in all His ways. The implications of the omniscience of God are extensive and relate to our lives. According to the prophet Isaiah, “His understanding is unsearchable” (Isa. 40:28), and yet God promises that in our pursuit of the knowledge of God, if we seek after Him with all of our hearts, He will reveal Himself to us (Jer. 29:13).
In the beginning of Psalm 139, we find that God searches and knows us deeply as individuals. God’s knowing of us goes beyond even the deepest level of human relationships as we think of married couples or even life-long friends knowing each other. God knows the deep and hidden things of our hearts and souls including motivations, preconceived ideas, biases, traumas, feelings, root causes behind our actions, etc. He knows the unseen and secret things that we might not even fully grasp about ourselves. As insignificant as we might believe we are at times, the God of the universe thinks about us. In fact, the sum of His thoughts toward us is so vast that “if [we] should count them, they would outnumber the sand” (Ps. 139:17). His thoughts extend to every single occurrence during every day of our lives. God’s mindfulness of each individual’s lifespan is so accurate and concrete it is as if every moment was recorded in history books before a single day took place.
His knowledge of us began before we were even conceived. As Kind David prophetically wrote of God: “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in your books were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them” (Ps. 139:16). How can we even begin to comprehend such foreknowledge found in the mind of God? This idea of God’s foreknowledge in regard to our individual beings is further explained by the prophet Jeremiah as He expounded that before God formed us in our mothers’ wombs, He knew us. Before we were born, Creator God had established plans and purposes for our lives that are both unique and good (Jer. 1:5). It is an unfathomable truth—He knew everything about us and our lives before creating the foundations of the earth. Even further, God knows the exact number of hairs on our heads at all times (Matt. 10:30), our DNA, and every aspect of our physically makeup. Due to His omniscience, we can declare of God that He knows absolutely everything about us as individuals.
There isn’t a step we take that escapes God’s notice as He is intimately acquainted with all of our ways—both good and bad. David continued in Psalm 139 “You know when I sit down and when I rise up” (vs. 2). The idea behind this statement is not simply that God knows our physical position at all times. This statement means that every action and inaction is done before His eyes. Even our thoughts that we believe are only known to us, He understands from afar. His knowledge is so vast, He even knows the words we will speak before they have even entered our minds: “even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all” (Ps. 139: 4).
At this point, His knowledge is both comforting and terrifying. It is comforting because in our cores, we long for intimate connection. We long to be seen. We long to be understood. We long to be known deeply and personally. God fulfills the longings of our hearts in this regard. On the other hand, His omniscience causes a healthy fear of the Lord within our hearts because we know that God knows all of our sinful thoughts, words, and actions. There is no such thing as hiding from God as we, like Adam and Eve after they sinned in the Garden of Eden, like to do when we know that we have rebelled against God and His commands. To Him, we will give an explanation. The truth is, “no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Heb. 4:13). This realization might cause us to wonder why God doesn’t reject us in the midst of our sin, but instead of giving up on us, He encloses us with His Spirit and lays His hand upon us whenever we come to Him by grace through faith in His atonement on the cross. In the words of King David, “such knowledge is too wonderful for me” (Ps. 139:6)! In light of God’s knowledge and His loving response to us in spite of knowing every ugliness we wish to hide from the world, the righteous posture is humility and thankfulness. Also, we need a healthy reverence for God due to His nature as omniscient because the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom in our lives. (Prov. 9:10).
In addition to knowing everything about us individually, His omniscience extends to everything that happens—past, present, and future. Since He is outside of time, God alone knows the end from the beginning while He Himself has no beginning or end. God says of Himself, “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all My purposes’” (Isa. 46:9-10). As the all-knowing One, He alone is able to explain ahead of time things that will happen in the future. When God speaks of things to come, we trust that His counsel will prevail because it has never failed. Due to His knowledge, His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted as He intricately weaves all the happenings under the sun together in a beautiful story of redemption. His story describes the rescue of those made in His image so that they could experience eternal Paradise with Himself.
It is awe-inspiring to know of God that He has no counselor. While we tend to spend our prayer-life instructing, advising, and making suggestions to God, He doesn’t need our finite counsel. “Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows Him his counsel? Whom did He consult, and who made Him understand? Who taught Him the path of justice, and taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding” (Isa. 40:13-14). The answer is no one—not His angles in Heaven, not any self-exalted god, no one provided counsel to Creator God. His wisdom is enough; there is no lack in His understanding. He requires no insight from anyone. The riches of His wisdom and knowledge are beyond sufficient for sustaining the universe; therefore, they are more than capable of guiding us in our day to day lives.
His knowledge is unsearchable, but as we learn of Him, we grow to trust His character. When we don’t understand His plans and purposes, we can conclude along with the prophet Isaiah that His knowledge is sufficient in our circumstances. While we tend to think about heartbreaking situations according to finite understanding, His thoughts are higher than ours. While we would choose ways of ease and comfort every time, God’s ways are not our ways because He knows better—He knows what will bring about the most good in our lives and which circumstances will conform us into great degrees of Christlikeness. God says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9). We must trust that what God allows in our lives, He has a purpose for in the long run.
It is because of these truths that we can pray as Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane before He endured the cross, “not My will but Yours be done” (Mark 14:36). We can trust God with all of our hearts knowing that to lean on our own understanding is an inferior choice when compared to leaning on the understanding of the omniscient God. No matter what is going on in our lives, we can say “I trust your wisdom, God. I trust your nature as the all-knowing One.” What’s beautiful about being in union with Christ is that He offers His wisdom to us in abundance. He has given us His Word, but He has also offered: “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). If you lack wisdom, come to Jesus. As the omniscience One, all wisdom given to humankind was given by God. “For the LORD gives wisdom; out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding” (Prov. 2:6). If you need knowledge, come to Jesus. Ask Him to reveal His knowledge to you. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you because “the knowledge of the Holy is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). He is the all-knowing one, and He loves you regardless. Come to Jesus.

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