9. Omniscience

Omniscience (Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology, Victor Books, 1986,) p. 41.

  1. Meaning. Omniscience means that God knows everything, things actual and possible, effortlessly and equally well. A. W Tozer wrote:

God knows instantly and effortlessly all matter and all matters, all mind and every mind, all spirit and all spirits, all being and every being, all creaturehood and all creatures, every plurality and all pluralities, all law and every law, all relations, all causes, all thoughts, all mysteries, all enigmas, all feeling, all desires, every unuttered secret, all thrones and dominions, all personalities, all things visible and invisible in heaven and in earth, motion, space, time, life, death, good, evil, heaven, and hell.

 

Because God knows all things perfectly, He knows no thing better than any other thing, but all things equally well, He never discovers anything, He is never surprised, never amazed. He never wonders about anything nor (except when drawing men out for their own good) does He seek information or ask questions (A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, [N.Y.: Harper, 1978], pp. 62-3).

 

  1. Scripture. God knows all His works from the beginning (Acts 15:18), He numbers and names the stars (Ps. 147:4). Our Lord displayed omniscience when He declared what might have happened in Tyre and Sidon (Matt. 11:21). God knows everything about our lives before we are born (Ps. 139:16).
  2. Applications. (a) Omniscience and security. Nothing can ever come to light in the believer’s life that would surprise God and cause Him to cast him out. “No talebearer can inform on us, no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us.” (Tozer, p. 63).

(b) Omniscience and sensitivity. Every warning God gives comes from an omniscient Being, so we should be extremely sensitive to them. He does not warn us on the basis of only guessing what might happen. He knows.

(c) Omniscience and solace. When faced with those inexplicable circumstances in life we invariably take refuge and find solace in the omniscience of God. Not only does He know what actually happened, but He knows what might have happened. He always knows what ultimate good and glory will come from events which we cannot understand.

(d) Omniscience and sobriety. Sobriety ought to characterize all when they realize that they must stand before an all-knowing God (Heb. 4:13).