We have seen before that God is not limited in any way. He is eternal – meaning He is not limited by time. He is also everywhere – meaning He is not limited by space. Today, we will see another way in which He is not limited: He knows everything. In fancy “preacher language”, He is “omniscient” – which means “all-knowing”.
The Bible identifies God as the One who is “perfect in knowledge” (Job 37:16). What does “perfection” in knowledge involve? It means that He knows everything that can be known. As John writes, “He knows everything” (1 John 3:20). This is an astonishing truth if we truly consider it. This means God knows every little detail about us – from the things we need (Matt. 6:8) down to the very number of hairs on our head (Matt. 10:29-30). And He does not simply possess that knowledge about us but about every person on the planet. Every human being is fully exposed to Him and His knowledge (Heb. 4:13). Moreover, every event is fully known to Him (Job 28:24). Even more astounding? He also knows the future – perfectly and in detail. He can – and often does in the Bible – declare the future before it happens because He knows what is going to happen (Isa. 42:8-9; 46:9-10).
But there is an even deeper level to God’s knowledge. Not only does He know everything that is and will happen in the past, present, and future, He also knows what would have happened if events had taken place differently than they did. In 1 Sam. 23:11-13, God reveals to David that the men of Keilah will turn him over to Saul if he remains there, so he escapes. They never hand him over, but God knew they would if given the opportunity. Similarly, Jesus shows knowledge about what would have happened in Tyre and Sidon and Sodom if the miracles of His day had been done in their midst. God possesses full knowledge not simply of actual events but even of all possible events.
Truly, this is awe-inspiring knowledge. God never has to “remember” anything. He also never has to “deliberate” or “consider” or “ponder” or “compute”. He knows everything, and He knows it all the time. He cannot ever learn something new or grow in His knowledge, because He already possesses all the knowledge that can be possessed. This is yet another aspect of His glorious, praiseworthy splendor.
But why do we care? What difference does this sort of knowledge make to us? First, it is a reminder that we never have any secrets from Him. Even if we fool everyone else, God knows everything about us. We are “naked” and “exposed” to Him in every possible way (Heb. 4:13). This is a sobering thought that should drive us to our knees in humility. Every sin we commit, every thought we think, every lust we nurture are all known to Him. We cannot hide – so we should not hide. God knows everything.
Second, this truth is important because it means we should listen carefully to whatever God says. If He knows everything, then we need to hear from Him if we want to have certain knowledge of anything. In order to know something certainly, we must either possess complete knowledge ourselves or hear from someone who does. In our case, we have access to the One with all perfect knowledge. This should move us to treasure God’s words. We can read them and know that they will never be proven wrong or false. God knows everything – which means that His words are perfect.
Finally, this truth is important simply because it provides even more justification to praise God. He is worthy of our praise – because He knows everything. As Paul declared, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!…To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:33,36)