The Knowledge of the Holy: The Divine Omniscience
[Editor’s Note: This is a 23-Day Series exploring different aspects of God’s nature and personality, using Tozer’s “The Knowledge of the Holy” as a discussion starter. You can read the introduction of the series here.]
Imagine that you are being asked to pledge your allegiance to a leader. This leader will be responsible, not just to help you succeed at your job, but he will also be responsible for your marriage, your health, your safety, not to mention whether you have food to eat and the condition of your soul. In that scenario, what kind of leader would you want? I don’t know about you, but I would want the most capable leader possible, one that can understand every scenario and understand the best one for me to take. Even in that scenario, I would still worry about him making mistakes. This is the question that lies at the center of today’s Tozer reading. God’s omniscience, His ability to know everything, is at the heart of whether we follow Him whole-heartedly or not.
Tozer argues that God’s knowledge is vast. It’s so vast, in fact, that it is perfect. It doesn’t grow. God doesn’t learn. He knows everything without having to be taught. And because God is in fact the source of every created thing, God knows and understands every created thing and how it will behave, better than the created being itself. In many ways, God’s omniscience is tied to His omnipresence (His ability to be everywhere at once), and so when we really begin to think about what God knows, we cry out with David, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7).
This has two implications for us mortals who have a limited ability to know things. First, for those who are clinging to sin and hoping they can keep it hidden, we have to realize that God sees all and knows all. “Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable,” (Hebrews 4:13). But for the believer who has taken refuge in Jesus, we can have confidence that though everything we’ve ever done or will do is known by God, He has still desired us, called us, and set His love upon us with full knowledge of who we are.
This for me is the major takeaway for this chapter. Many acknowledge God knows everything. Sometimes we fear the fact that God knows everything. The benefit to the believer is understanding God has chosen us and reconciled us knowing all of our failures in advance. God is not surprised by your sin. He’s not sitting in Heaven reconsidering your salvation based on your latest slip up. Yet, so much of the time, we relate to God like He somehow feels differently about us based on our latest slip up (or success). In this way we treat God like a man and not the God He really is.
Friends, God has chosen us having already known everything there is to know about us. He is not surprised. This should motivate us to trust Him and love Him more. When I was dead in my sin and an enemy of God, He chose me. When I was being transformed by Jesus, but still struggling with old patterns of sin, He already knew it would happen. He doesn’t have to reconsider, He already knew. And He chose you anyway. And it’s this confidence in His ability to already know us and still choose us that gives us confidence to come before His throne of grace boldly. That is where we find grace and help in the times we need it most.
And lastly, we can trust God to lead us into the future. If He knows everything, He already knows the outcome of any situation He will lead me into. And because He’s good, I know that He will lead me into situations that are guaranteed to be for my good, even if they don’t seem like it at the time. Understanding this at a heart level makes God an easy person to trust. He knows the future. He will lead us through it well. He will make good choices that will benefit us. And not only does He have our good in mind, because He knows everything, He has the power to make that good happen. And He is worthy to trust with my life and yours.
That’s my take away. What’s yours? Leave a comment in the comment section so we can all grow together.
It’s not to late for you to join in with us. You can catch up in the posts below:
The Knowledge of the Holy Series
Day 10: The Divine Omniscience
Day 11: The Wisdom of God
Day 12: The Omnipotence of God
Day 13: The Divine Transcendence
Day 14: God’s Omnipresence
Day 15: The Faithfulness of God
Day 16: The Goodness of God
Day 17: The Justice of God
Day 18: The Mercy of God
Day 19: The Grace of God
Day 20: The Love of God
Day 21: The Holiness of God
Day 22: The Sovereignty of God
Day 23: The Open Secret