The Omniscience of God


Psalm 139:1-4

Key Verse – “Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.” 


Consider A W Tozer’s definition of omniscience:  To say God is omniscient is to say that He possesses perfect knowledge and therefore has no need to learn.  But it is morel it is to say that God has never learned and cannot learn.

Do you agree with this definition? 

To say that God knows everything is not a controversial statement and you would find general agreement with almost all of Christianity.  But are there limits to this knowledge?  Nothing escapes God’s notice and God forgets nothing, so undoubtedly his knowledge of the past and present is infinite and complete.  But what about the future?  And what about things that could happen but will not? (see freewill below)


The writer of Psalm 139, David, states that God has searched him and knows his thoughts.  Does God need to search David to know his thoughts, or is this simply a metaphor to describe something that we as humans can’t fully grasp?  If searching is required, this would imply that God did not formerly know this about David and learned about him.


Once again the question of freewill must be brought up.  If man has free will, does God know what we will do at every instant?  Or does God know all our possible choices and what the result of each will be even though only one choice will be made?  These are a lot of hypothetical situations.  The traditional answer is that God knows everything – past, present, and future.  However, it is important to think about the implications of this knowledge, especially with regard to freewill (if in fact man has freewill at all, according to some.)

God and man 

God’s omniscience is terrible news for the sinner but wonderful news for the Christian.  For the sinner, it means that no one can sin in secret as God knows all that we do and we will be held accountable for our sins.

However, for the Christian, it means that we worship a God who knows us through and through.  As creator he put us together, but He is still actively watching over us and is concerned about us.  And as God he continues to love us even though He knows our faults and all the times we fail Him.

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