Big Words of the Christian Life: Omniscience (Part 1)

October 5, 2017 at 9:30 am | Posted in big words of the Christian life | 12 Comments
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Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.

Psalm 86:8

God is holy – not only in the sense of His sinlessness (righteousness), but in the sense of His uniqueness. He is the only Being of His kind. Because He is so fundamentally different from us, it is difficult for us to accurately and truly describe Him. We are limited to talking about His characteristics – to “attributing” qualities to Him that we can grasp, which is why they are called His “attributes.”

One characteristic of personhood is that a person who can think, can know things. He can possess information. Some people think they know something about everything. We call them know-it-alls, but God not only knows something about everything – He knows EVERYTHING about everything. We call this attribute “omniscience:” omni = all; science = knowledge.

Our knowledge can only be partial at best, but God’s knowledge is comprehensive.

Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

Psalm 147:5

He is not like us, only smarter. He is not really like us at all in this regard. His knowledge is exhaustive. God can do anything, but He is still a God of logic, so we might say that there are some things that logic does not permit us to say about Him. This means that, while, in His power, there is nothing too difficult for God, there are some things that God “can not” do. He can not get better. He can not improve. He can not sin. He can not learn anything new, or “learn” anything at all. He can not gain any new information, because all information there is originates IN HIM. His omniscience means that His knowledge is comprehensive and that He can never be surprised or caught off-guard. He can’t be confounded or confused or stumped or fooled.

God’s knowledge is comprehensive and it is continuous. It is a constant knowledge.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

Proverbs 15:3

You and I can run certain rudimentary brain functions on different levels at the same time (such as singing a song and driving a car), but what we are really doing is shifting our attention back and forth very quickly, and we often find it impossible to control the focus of our thinking. Sit there for a few seconds and try your hardest NOT to think about a purple elephant…

… or try to suddenly switch off your thoughts at the end of a stressful day, and simply go to sleep. Not so easy, is it? However, God not only knows everything, but He knows everything ABOUT everything – all at once – all the time. He doesn’t have to take His mind off North Korea for a second to consider your prayer about healing for your ingrown toenail.

Next time we will consider some more of the ramifications of God’s omniscience.

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  1. […] Revelation of God’s Mercy 65. Mercy / Memory (Psalm 136:13) 66. A Closer Walk with Thee  67. Big Words of the Christian Life: Omniscience (Part 1) (Psalm 147:5) 68. Healing for Truly Broken Hearts 69. Even the Children (Psalm […]

  2. […] of hyperbole when discussing the understanding of “all” mysteries, “all” knowledge, and “all” faith. Even if someone had all these gifts, and all this wisdom, it would be […]

  3. […] and He will do with us as He pleases. And we have nothing about us that is threatening or mysterious to […]

  4. […] Last time, we acknowledged that God’s knowledge is comprehensive, continuous, and constant. Now we will see that it is also complete. […]

  5. […] there “eternally” in the “future.” In other words, there’s no real “future” to Him. Omniscience requires no surprises – no “new” or “acquired” information or knowledge – because […]

  6. […] is omniscient, but His omniscience is not a cold distant omniscience. He is also omnipresent, and His […]

  7. […] of God too: “omnipresence,” meaning that God is everywhere all the time at once; “omnscience,” meaning that God knows everything; and “omnibenevolence” meaning that God (and […]

  8. […] is not a place in this universe where we could hide from God. He sees us at all times, and is actually present whenever we say anything, do anything, achieve anything, […]

  9. […] because He can do all things (Mark 10:27). From God’s point of view nothing is invisible, because He sees everything (Matthew 6:4). From God’s point of view nothing that He says is “incredible,” because, as the […]

  10. […] is subject to human error. God may use earthly means to accomplish His work, but He also has the perfect wisdom and knowledge to choose faultless means and “tools” when it suits […]

  11. […] Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his […]

  12. […] God is omniscient and immutable and eternal. This means that He knows everything, and there has never been a time […]


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