God’s Omniscience

Question from a reader:

It is written that God is all-knowing. Can this possibly be true? Does God know his own future? What becomes of further interest in the concept of an all-knowing God is that God must therefore know the consequences that follow on from any action he might initiate. **He would therefore realize that his flooding of a sinful world (Noah’s Flood) would actually achieve nothing at all. The world is still most violent and sinful! *

RegardsĀ 

Thank you for your question. Yes, I believe that it is true that God is all-knowing. The Bible relates God’s omniscience to His omnipresence (Psalm 139). It has been said that omniscience is the omnipresence of cognition (Jeremiah 23:23). God’s omniscience is related to His eternity; i.e., in His eternity, His knowledge is not subject to the limitations of time and space (Isaiah 43:8-12).

So, back to the question, “Does God know his own future?” There is no “future” in eternity, at least not as we understand this word because there is no time in eternity. This is one of the great mysteries of the Bible; i.e., how “events” in eternity sort of all happen at the same “time.” As you can see, our limited understanding of eternity even prevents us from being able to adequately articulate it with words like “events” and “time.” So, there is no real way for us to express your question since we are indeed limited to a world of space and time. Suffice it to say that God is, in fact, all-knowing based upon the scripture passages noted above.

However, I believe that there is a more technical answer to your question, although it may answer a more subtle question than what you asked. God’s omniscience also, of course, extends to all of His own creation, including people, time, and space (Psalms 33:15; 97:9; 139:13; Isaiah 29:15). His all-comprehensive purpose forms the basis of His knowledge, not only of eternity, but also of all events; i.e., time, future, etc. (Isaiah 41:22-27; Amos 3:7). So, yes, even in our limited world of time and space, God certainly does know His own future. Although, His understanding of these things in our world does not begin to represent His all-knowing omniscience of the things of eternity.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Owen

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