2. GOD IS ALL-KNOWING (OMNISCIENT)
God also knows everything. There is not one single thing that happens on this planet that escapes the knowledge of God. Proverbs 5:21 says, “For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths” (NIV). In Romans 11:33–34, Paul says, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (NIV).
He not only knows what is going on with the people He created in His image, but He knows what is going on in the animal kingdom. Jesus said in Matthew 10:29 (NIV), “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” God knows about every little sparrow that has been shot down by a brand new Daisy BB gun that a kid got for Christmas. God is aware of all of these details.
Psalm 147:4 says, “He counts the stars and calls them all by name” (NLT). Think about that. In this massive universe that we live in, God knows the name of every single star out there. But in addition to that, He knows what is going on in this little planet called Earth. He is vitally aware of what is happening in every individual life. He is interested in us as individuals. Proverbs 15:3 says, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” Really, when you stop and think about it, how could He reward and punish otherwise? He is aware of everything that is happening.
I don’t know how this concept of God’s omniscience strikes you. Realizing that God knows everything about everyone, including you, can be either frightening or encouraging depending on your relationship with God or lack thereof. If your life is right with God and you are walking with Him, to know that God is aware of what is going on in your existence is a comforting thought. We don’t want to be forgotten. We want to be loved. We want to be appreciated. We want to be remembered. We don’t want to be another face in this massive human sea of billions of people. So it’s comforting to know that God cares about us, that He knows about us.
If you are a child of God, it encourages you to know, as Jesus said, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Luke 12:7). But if your life is not right with God, if you are doing things you should not be doing, it could be rather terrifying to think that nothing escapes His attention. I like the words of the psalmist in Psalm 56:8 when he says, “You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” God knows every time you have shed tears because of the sorrow that you felt. Maybe someone made fun of you. Maybe you were left out. Maybe you were misunderstood. Maybe someone lied about you. Or you were hurt by someone you loved. God is aware of that. He keeps your tears in a bottle. He cares about you. And though it may be insignificant to someone else, who might say to you, “Why are you getting all worked
up over that? You’re fine. That’s no big deal,” it is a big deal to you. God knows, and He cares.
And because God is all-knowing, it is not hard for Him to speak of the future. God can speak of the future and predict what will happen with as much accuracy as we can speak of the past.
Would you think I was a prophet of God if we went out to breakfast together and at noon I boldly said, “I know what you had for breakfast. It has been revealed to me.” You’d say, “Greg, calm down. What are you doing? You were with me.”
“But I know what you had. You had a cheese omelet with mushrooms, hash browns, and toast.” You would say, “So what? You were there.”
God can speak of the future with as much accuracy as the past—even more so because, as I said in the beginning, sometimes we forget things. But God has perfect knowledge of all things.
People so desperately want to know what is happening in their future. They call psychic hotlines. I saw an ad one day that said, “Are you tired of those psychics on television? Well, call us because we are certified psychics.” Who certifies these people? Once, the singer Dionne Warwick was telling people to call the psychic and I thought, “Why should I let Dionne Warwick tell me what is going to happen in my future? She doesn’t even know the way to San Jose!”
When God speaks of the future and He tells us of the events that are going to unfold in human history, He knows what He is talking about—because He can see into eternity. In fact, in Isaiah 46:9–10, God says, “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.’”
That is interesting. God says He knows the end from the beginning. The arrangement of those words is striking because it’s the exact opposite of the way man knows history. We are limited by time and space. We learn about things as they unfold in time—from the beginning to the end. But God says, “I know the end from the beginning. I know what is going to
happen already,” because He is eternal. He is infinite. He is perfect. He is timeless. Therefore, when He tells us that certain things are going to happen, we can take it to the bank. And when we read Bible prophecy, we can be sure that these things will take place just as He has said.
Not only does God know about the universe. Not only does He know about every little bird that falls to the ground. Not only does He know every thought that you think, but also He searches us and He knows us, as the psalmist says. He knows the intimate details of our lives. The word that David uses for search in Psalm 139:1, where he says, “You have searched me,” literally means to pierce through. We sometimes speak of seeing through a person. In God’s case this is always true. On more than one occasion in the Gospels this was a source of particular irritation for people who were around Jesus, because He could read their minds.
There was that occasion in Luke 5 when the poor crippled man was brought to Jesus by his friends. Jesus was speaking in a house. Suddenly, the thatching on the roof began to open up and clods of dirt fell down to the ground, and a hole was pulled open. This man was dropped down slowly. As the ropes suspended him there in front of the Savior, Jesus looked at him and said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” Then He spun around to the Pharisees and essentially said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? I know what you guys are thinking.” They were thinking. “How can He say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’? For who can forgive sins but God alone?” How did Jesus know that? He read their minds.
He read the minds of the accusers of the woman caught in adultery, He read the minds of His disciples, and He reads our minds. He knows what we are thinking. He searches all our ways, the psalmist tells us. He knows when I get up in the morning. He knows what I eat for breakfast. He knows what route I take to work or to school. He knows when I go back home. He knows what time I arrive. He knows what words I say as well.
It has been said that the average person speaks enough words in a given day to fill a good-sized volume. And in the course of a lifetime they speak enough words to fill enough books to fill a college library. It would be interesting to read what some of us have said.
We must remember that God is the unseen Listener to every conversation. When you pick up that phone, He is listening. He is the unseen Guest at every table. There He is, taking it all in, aware of everything that is being said. And He has told us that every idle word a man speaks he will give an account of on the Day of Judgment.