There is an infamous story in the Chilton family. Do you want to hear it? Oh the deception!!! When I was a boy, my mom had just finished her nursing program. As a young boy, I had a bad tendency. I loved to scare her. Maybe it had to do with the little dance she did after I scared her. She told me, “You’d better stop or you’ll regret it.” Like a typical boy, I did not listen. One evening, she returned from her job at Forsyth Hospital. It was dark in the living room. As Mom entered the house, I leaped out from behind a chair and scared her. This time, Mom grabbed her chest making out like she was having a heart attack and fell to the ground. My face became as white as a winter snowfall. I ran to get the phone and began to dial 911. However, by the time I grabbed the phone, Mom popped up and said, “Gotcha! I told you that you would regret scaring me again.” I never scared her after that experience. Mom and I are human. Therefore, we have limited knowledge. Mom had no way of knowing that I would scare her. I certainly had no way of knowing that she would put on a performance that was worthy of an Academy Award. While we are limited in our knowledge, the same is not true of God. God is unlimited in his knowledge. Theologically, such an attribute is called omniscience meaning “all-knowledge.”
This past Sunday, I delivered a message on this very topic. We discovered that God is not limited by time (Psalm 139:4-6; Matt. 6:8; Rom. 8:29). This means that God knows past, present, and future equally. God’s knowledge is not bound by the limitations of time. Also, God is not limited by physics (Psalm 139:13-16; Job 21:22; Ps. 147:4-5). God wrote the book and owns the patent to the physics of the universe. There is not a molecule that moves, an atom that splits, a drop of water that falls, or a grain of sand that shifts that God doesn’t know. Thus, God’s knowledge is not limited by physics. Lastly, God’s knowledge is not limited by location, which we will discuss later with God’s attribute of omnipresence (Psalm 139:1-3, 7-12; Prov. 15:3; 16:9; Heb. 4:13). God knows what is going on in all parts of the world.
But here is an important question. How does God’s omniscience affect you? I argue that God’s omniscience affects you in at least four ways.
- God knows everything that is going on in the world. God knows all about the troubles in the world. The book of Proverbs states that the “eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Prov. 15:3). The promise in the book of Revelation is that he will fix it…if even he waits until eternity to do so. God will judge evil. So while it may seem that evil goes unpunished, God’s omniscience promises that in due time it will.
- God created time. God is not on our timeframe. It may be that God has called you to do something. In due time, he will make a way. Peter notes that one should not “overlook this one fact…that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Pet. 3:8). This means that God may not act when you want God to act. Rather, God acts in just the right time. As the old saying goes, “God is never too early and he is never too late. God is always right on time.” Just because God has not moved yet, doesn’t mean that he won’t.
- God knows everything about you. God knows every aspect of your life, including those hidden recesses of your life that you feel no one else knows. God knows your thoughts. God knows those proverbial “skeletons in your closet.” God knows the greatest thing you have ever done and the very worst. Even still, God still loves you. He wants to save you, transform you, and change you into the person that you can be.
- God knows the final end. God has promised that everything will, in the end, work together for those who love God and are called according to his purposes (Rom. 8:28). This promise is not for everyone, but particularly for those who have been saved by his grace, those who have entered into a covenant with him through Christ. God, knowing all there is to know (the things that are and the things that are not, the things that will be and the things that will not be), is going to bring everything to a final good end. What does this mean?
It means that you are free to rest in God’s love. Trust in God’s care. Live in God’s plan. Everything else is needless worry. As long as God knows and is working, everything will be okay. Do what God has called you to do. Those works will be merged in with God’s plan to bring forth something great in due time.
© February 10, 2016. Brian Chilton.
Portions of the preceding article came from the author’s message “Omniscience: God’s Unlimited Knowledge.”
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