Omniscience of God by Loretta Mach

Intro - A little over a week ago I showed up at our pediatrician’s office to have my 8 and 10 year olds’ well checks done. My husband took off work and met me there to help out with our 3 year old. We had waited several minutes, provided insurance information, and were watching cartoons on the t.v. when the receptionist called me over. She said she did not have us down for an appt. that day. I was dumbfounded. I asked could it be that my appt. is next week. She looked on her computer screen and verified that I was in fact a week early to the appt. When I got home I checked my calendar and found that I had written the appt. day down correctly but had forgotten it was the 21st and not the 14th. Have you ever had something like that happen to you? Have you remembering things incorrectly or not remembering them at all?

It’s hard to keep track of all the information we need to remember. Did you know that we forget 95% of what we hear after 72 hours. I’d like to illustrate how limited our knowledge is by giving you a little quiz. I’ll give you a series of letters and number, and ask you to remember and repeat them after a few seconds. (No writing anything down now)

I’ll go slowly: W P C 4 F T G IO C W T 6 5

Okay, can anyone here repeat the twelve letters and numbers I just gave you?

Psychologists tell us that at a given time, we are only able to load and store seven items in our memory, give or take a few. Would you agree that a memory capacity of 5 to 9 items is a very limited memory capacity indeed!

We’re in the Information Age and jobs are based on what you know. In the Industrial Age jobs were based on building things. The more you know the better your position will be. How do we see the quest for knowledge played out in our every day lives?

As a young child, one of the first songs we learn is our A-B-C’s. We get in school and we have programs such as TAG- Talented and Gifted. We strive for good report cards, good TAAS and SAT scores; we strive for the prestigious position of valedictorian or salutatorian. If we go off to college we press on towards the various degrees- Associates, Bachelors, Masters, and even Doctorates (like our pastor). Tune into the TV and watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy . Board Games such as Trivial Pursuit increase our knowledge. We open the paper every morning and read the headlines and there’s the NY crossword puzzle, word jumbles

Despite all these activities that help measure our knowledge or increase it, no single person is capable of knowing even a small percentage of all there is to know . Ralph Waldo Emerson said that if a man were to start reading the books in the British Library on the day he was born and read day and night for seventy years, without taking time to eat or sleep, he would only be able to read a small section of the books in that collection..

We are often forced to rely on someone else’s knowledge. For instance, there are several people we have to trust our car with. We’ve trusted the assembly workers to build it and the mechanics to fix it. We trust the gas stations that they have the right feul to keep our car running. When you get a prescription filled, you depend on the fact that the pharmacist knows what he/she’s doing and that they don’t confuse medicines. When we get on an airplane we trust the pilot knows how to fly a plane. We bank our lives on other people’s knowledge, because ours is so limited. This is where God comes in.

*God Knows All Things. He is omniscient* . Omniscience is infinite knowledge. It come from the Latin words omnis meaning all and scientia meaning knowledge. All knowledge; He possess all knowledge. There is absolutely nothing that God does not know. There is no database or library outside of God’s knowledge and he never has to rely on anyone else but himself for knowledge.

I’d like to tell you four things about God’s omniscience. God’s omniscience is unlearned, it’s comprehensive, it’s instantaneous, and it is personal

A. The first thing is that God’s omniscience is unlearned.. Isaiah tells us in Chapter 46 verse 13 “who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor”? Verse 14 says “Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding”?

God did not need to go to school. He can’t learn anything because he already knows it. God’s knowledge never changes or grows. If God had to learn something new, it would mean that he wasn’t omniscient before.

Psalm 147:5 says: “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.” Tony Evans writes:

“All the information in all the libraries of the world all the data on all the computer chips in the world, including all the chips that have not yet been made; all of this data, God knows completely right now. Because he is infinite, His understanding is infinite.”

B . God’s Omniscience is comprehensive- God knows all things actual and possible, past, present, and future in one eternal act.

When we say God knows all things actual it means He knows all things that exist and all things that happen. His knowledge is complete and certain. God's knowledge is not like the encyclopedias we purchase.. He needs no "yearly update".

Mathew 10:29 tells us that God knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. A preacher once said “God is the only one who attends a sparrow’s funeral”.

Psalm 50:11 says “I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine.” That’s unlimited knowledge to know every living bird and creature. Psalm 147:4 says that every star in every galaxy has been numbered and named by God. (He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.)

Therefore, God is aware of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. He knew exactly what route those hurricanes were going to take before land fall. If God were the local weatherman there would be no “weather predictions”. They would all be weather reports and they’d be accurate all the time. He’s aware how gasoline prices have gone up, what the real estate market is doing, and what the headlines were in today’s paper.

God knows all of the past too. Psalm 139 says God knew you in the womb before you were formed. One thing I think of is that with God you don’t have to fill him in about your life. If you’ve ever been in counseling you know that the first visit is basically giving them your past history. And then if you have to switch counselors you have to retell your story. With God he already knows. There’s no need to rehash your history, he’s aware of it. He knows you better than you know yourself.

God knows the future. God’s knowledge of the future is as complete as His knowledge of the past and the present, because the future depends entirely upon Him. Isaiah 46:9-10 says I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.

Acts 15:18 says Known unto God are all His works from the beginning.

Whatever God has decreed for the future is certain. You can look at God’s past record regarding prophecies to see that His word is true. If you turn to chapter 53 of Isaiah you can see numerous prophecies about Jesus’ death that came to pass hundreds of years later. So, there is no need to consult spiritualists, fortune tellers, horoscopes, because no one can know the future like God. There is nothing you can do or think that will surprise God. If you wanted to plan a surprise birthday party for God it couldn’t happen. He’d know about it. God also knows the variables of situations. He knows the what ifs.

Listen to Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:21 “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. So, Jesus knows what would’ve happened if he had performed his miracles in these cities; they would’ve repented.

In 2 Kings 13:19 Elisha reveals to King Joash what would’ve happened if he had struck the ground five or six times. In 1 Samuel 23:11-13 God reveals to David what would happen if David were to stay in the town of Keilah.

God knows about our potential history: what if we had been born at a different time, at a different place? What if you had married differently? God know what could have been-a great comfort since we know that what did happen out of all that could have happened, took place according to his will.

Part of the comprehensiveness of God’s omniscience is that God sees all. Nothing escapes His notice nothing can be hidden or concealed from Him. He’s invisible to us but we are not so to Him. Let’s look at some examples of this in scripture. God saw Adam and Eve hiding from him in the garden, he saw David’s adultery and murderous plot, and he was the sole witness to Abel’s murder. Jesus saw the religious hypocrisy of the Pharasees and tore off their masks. Proverbs 15:3 says that the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. God knows where missing persons are. Every child or adult pictured on the fliers we receive in the mail to the highly publicized case of Natalee Holloway. God is well aware of their whereabouts. God even knows where small personal items are. About a year and a half ago I lost my engagement ring. I checked the swimming pools I had taken my kids. I turned the house upside down looking for that ring. Then a year later. I was searching for a missing library book. I opened my night stand and checked under some books. There in the corner was my beautiful diamond ring. He is the God of lost things. I was thinking the other day how I , Queen of Lost things am doing this talk on God the knower of lost things. I’ve lost everything from books, car keys, engagement rings, cell phones, shoes, library books, cordless telephones, and wallets. In fact, maybe it would be better to list the things I haven’t lost. So, this attribute is close to my heart. John McArthur didn’t like the idea of God’s omniscience as a child. His parents told him God knows everything he does. Later as he grew he realized it’s a benefit. .

God fully knows himself. Noone knows themselves completely, except for God. This is remarkable because God’s own being in infinite or unlimited. It takes unlimited knowledge to fully know an unlimited being. Paul writes to the in 1 Corinthians 2:11: For who among men knows the thought of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

C. The third point about God’s omniscience is that it is instantaneous. Have you ever seen the movie “Rain Man” starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise? Dustin Hoffman plays Raymond, an autistic-savant that can memorize reams of trivia and add, subtract, multiply, and divide quickly. There is one scene in the movie where a box of toothpicks is dropped on the floor. Toothpicks are lying everywhere. Raymond quickly adds various numbers mentally and comes up with the correct total. With God there is no hesitation in his knowledge. It is complete. His knowledge is not acquired through observation or reason. If God wanted to tell us the number of grains of sand on the beach, he wouldn’t have to count them or call to mind the answer. He knows all things at once. He doesn’t have to reason to conclusions or ponder carefully before answering. I forget people’s names when I first meet them. Your name, driver’s license number, birthday, anniversary, are all part of God’s knowledge.

D . The final point I’d like to make about God’s omniscience is that it’s personal.

He knows how much or how little hair you have on your head. (Luke 12:7)

He knows your words before you speak them. (Ps 139:4)

He knows your thoughts before you think them (Psalm 139:2)

He knows your prayers before you pray them (Matthew 6:8)

He records every work you say and will some day call you to account for every careless, thoughtless, unkind, and unchristian comment. (Matthew 12:36)

He hears every whispered word and will one day shout them from the housetops (Luke 12:3)

God Knows Your Secrets

Jeremiah 16:17 says “My eyes are on all their ways’ they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. In other words He knows all those things you were hoping no one would ever know. He knows the things you have done, the things you have thought, and He knows the true intention of your deeds.

What a joy to know that God knows all your sin, yet has chosen to forgive you.

Have you cried recently?

Psalm 56:8 tells us that God bottles up our tears. He knows every tear you’ve shed, every situation that has caused you pain. One of the things that makes us feel most isolated in life is the feeling that no one understands. People may be kind and well meaning but they don’t really understand us. But God does.

He knows the disappointments.

He knows the depth of your loss.

He knows about the way others have hurt you.

He knows about the times others have betrayed you.

God’s the only one with all the information.

God Knows Your service

Bill Hybels says:

“God is the note-taking heavenly observer. He knows about the time you bit your tongue when you could have contributed to a rumor. He takes notice every time you greet a stranger or visit a person in the hospital or prison. Every secret act of character, conviction, and courage has been observed in living color by our omniscient God.

God Knows Our situation

Sometimes life is like driving in a fog. You can only see so far ahead. We don’t know what is around the next bend. But God does. He knows where he is taking your life and what it is that He is using you to accomplish for His purpose. He sees the big picture. He knows the way home no matter how lost we feel.

I remember feeling like I was in a fog and aimless back in 1985. My life came to a screeching halt when my former husband announced he wanted a divorce. Divorce? That word wasn’t even in my vocabulary. The more I tried to make it work the harder he pulled away. A woman was calling the house that he was seeing at the time. He would spend hours away from the house and return in the morning. Many times he smelled of perfume. There were lots of tears. Three years later I found myself divorced after 7 years of marriage. Where was I to go? What kind of future did I have to look forward to? God knew. It was in the midst of this turmoil God placed a strong Christian lady in my pathway; a co-worker at Motorola Credit Union named Shanta. Every day she would hand me a Bible verse printed on a little piece of paper and say “Here Loretta , here’s the word for the day”. I had been searching for God for quite sometime before this. I was baptized in the Methodist church as a baby. I was confirmed in the Lutheran church as a teen. Then in college I was discipled to be part of the Catholic Church. But Shanta had something different that I had never seen upclose before. She had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I remember telling her I want what you have. Shanta ended up marrying and leaving the credit union. It was after this that my search intensified and I finally found God in a small church in south Austin. One of the ladies took me aside and read me the four spiritual law books. It was then that I opened my heart and let Jesus in. This all happened in 1985 too. So my situation didn’t improve right away after receiving Christ. But I came to rely on him and put my trust in him. One of the verses I memorized and kept dear to my heart was:

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God Knows Why we suffer

Suffering is not for nothing. God allows the hurts and pains for a reason. Often we aren’t able to understand many of these things; we can’t see what is beyond this life. God sees the purpose. He is the one who understands what is baffling to us. God alone has the eternal perspective. It’s like when you have to bring your children in for their vaccinations. As a parent, you know the reason for those shots. You’re preparing your child to survive in a world of disease. You willingly bring your child to the Doctor who will inflict the pain and you do so because you see the big picture.

The child’s perspective is different. They may feel betrayed or abused. They may wonder if their parent really loves them.

So when we are wounded and feeling the ache of loss or disappointment, we must remind ourselves that God has an answer to the question “why?” We may not understand, but that doesn’t mean there is no answer.

God Knows what is best.

During the summer there are all kinds of camps for children. Many of the camps feature start athletes. These camps charge the most and fill the quickest. Why? Because everyone wants to learn from an expert. If you had the chance to learn from someone who had been a starter on an NBA championship team, or from someone who was the best basketball player in the park, which would you rather learn from? You’d want to learn from the NBA player…If we can see this when it comes to camps why can’t we see it when it comes to life? If we conclude that we know better than God we are choosing to follow the neighborhood kid rather than the one who really knows.


God knew exactly what he was doing when he created you. You’re no accident. This time period you were born in was planned. Nothing about you is an afterthought. So who will you trust today? Will you trust in your own knowledge or will you trust in the omniscient one…God?
Topic revision: r1 - 2006/02/19, RickMach
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