Discipleship Lesson # 7
God is all knowing.
Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all. Job 38:18
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
Talking about the characteristics of God, one can spend a lifetime time, no an eternity, describing God in how wonderful and awesome He is. It is the goal of these lessons to inspire you to really think about God in a new but Biblical way. For this week, what we need to learn is God knows everything. If you grasp this idea, you would reconsider sinning because He would know what you did. These Scriptures listed above gives us a good beginning in understanding this characteristic of God; so I will explain these verses, give application about what this means for you and me, and examine a supposed contradiction in Scripture with this subject.
To understand this verse in Job that we will look at, we first need to understand the book of Job. The book of Job is made up of three sections: First what happened to Job (chapters 1-2), Job’s and other responses about what happened (chapters 3-41), and the conclusion of the story (chapter 42). This verse for this subject was spoken by God to Job. During this section, God asks Job a series of questions that only God would ever know. Then in verse 18, God says for him to answer the questions if he knew it all. This shows the difference between God and man. God knows it all but man does not. The questions that God asks are questions that can never be answered by man. It showed Job that he needed to trust God, knowing what He was doing. God knows everything about the natural world which he created and as seen in the questions in Job, but He also knows everything about humanity by individual cases, knowing everybody in a way that we can’t comprehend. In Psalm 139, the first couple verses, 1-2 and 4, speak about God being all knowing in knowing us. The first verse says that the LORD searched the writer and knows Him. The word search has a basic meaning of to penetrate. From that idea, we understand that God examines this individual intimately and from this examination God knows this person in every way possible. It would be like a laser beam penetrating a substance, and through that penetration, you would know more about that substance. The word search also could have a connotation that God has tried this individual and knows him based on what the individual does through the temptation or the trial. It speaks volumes how people react when they go through hardships because it shows truly where their trust lies: whether it be God or on someone or something or even themselves. But in any case God knows everything about you. The next verse shows that God knows the times that you are down and knows when you are up. Simply, God knows what we do throughout the day. If we are lying down, He is aware of it. If we are up and going about our business, God knows it. Also God knows when we fail to obey Him and keep His word, but also knows when we do the opposite. Yet more than that, He understands our thoughts afar off. What this means is God knows the ins and outs of our thoughts well in advance. Before we think it, He knows what our thoughts are and why they came about. In verse four, God testifies that He knows the words that will come out of your mouth. There is nothing that surprises Him about what we say. It is an amazing thought that God knows everything about us from our actions, thoughts or words, God knows them all. There is nothing that will escape from His notice. He knows everything that you say, think, do, but He also knows what could have happened or the possible. In 1 Samuel 23, David asks God if the people who he just helped will deliver him to his enemy. God told them that they will if he stays. It shows that God knows everything, including what could have been. Every single decision we make, God knows where that decision would led us and He knows what decision we should have made. He knows everything!
This thought of God knowing everything or Him being all knowing should create in us a holy fear. It testifies that we, no matter how well we can cover a deed that we did, God still knows. Even if you think that no one will know what you did, God does. There should be a holy reverence for God because He knows everything about us and knowing this, we should prevent ourselves from sinning. We should not want to sin if we know that God will know all about it. For the unsaved person, this thought is not a welcoming one because they know that if God knows everything they did, then they are accountable to Him for it. If someone lives in sin, they should know that God knows and takes it in account. Scripture proclaims that everything that we do, think and say are written down in a book of God’s remembrance and if we are not saved by placing our faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven and the only way to get right with God, then we will be punished for those things in a literal place called the Lake of Fire. This is what the unsaved should be afraid of because God knows everything. This shows that God is just and He is the Judge. But for the saved, those that acknowledged that they are sinners and that by Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins we can be made right before God through faith in Jesus, we should have a different reaction to the understanding that God knows everything. We should have a holy fear because God knows everything, but that should not be the entire feeling towards God. What we should have along with the holy, reverential fear is a love for God because of Him knowing everything. There are two reasons why we should have love towards God for this matter. The first reason is even though He knows everything about us in our sinful nature and what we would do through that nature, He loved us enough to send Jesus to the earth to path a way for us to get right with Him. Romans 5:8 says it best: But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Even though we are guilty before God as sinners, we are made righteous because of what Jesus has done for us; we just needed to trust Jesus. So that should make us to love God because He knows everything about us. The second reason that we should love God because He knows everything about us is He knows what we have done for Him. For Christians, the day will come when we will be rewarded before the Judgment Seat of Christ. Christ, knowing everything that we have done that is worthy of reward, will give us a reward based on it. Now I need to say that this reward is not what we did for Christ on earth; rather it is what God has done through us for Christ on earth. We just need to let God have His way with us each and every day, serving Him and loving Him. God knows everything!
But with this idea of God knowing all things, someone could ask me about the verse that says that God forgets. The verse is the last part of Jeremiah 31:34: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. This verse is also quoted in Hebrews 8:12 and 10:17. What the verse talks about is not simply that if you ask Him about the sin that you have done, he’ll say, “What sin are you talking about?” It is not that God has amnesia concerning our sins, but what the verse is talking about is found in the word remember. Remember has a couple ideas to it. First is what we naturally understand, having to do with our memory that we remember something. But the second that can be seen is that of remembering a debt to one’s account. The debt that is still on the books is what is viewed. This is what the verse is talking about: God will not hold the sins that we have done, knowing full well that we did them, to our account based on what Jesus did for us. The blood has blotted out the sin and He will not punish us for them anymore because He already punished Christ for them. This is what forgiveness is. For instance, if someone wronged you, you can either hold on to that feeling of being wronged or you can forgive that individual, releasing the punishment that the person deserves and giving it to God, to remember their offense no more. God does not hold the sin to our account if we are saved; so we need to do likewise for others that have wronged us. If you do not, then bitterness will consume you and destroy you with those that are close to you. That is the only occurrence of God “forgetting” something, but He is still all knowing.
Understanding that God knows everything about you, there are a couple things which you should do. The first is if you are not saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, then you need to get saved. God knows everything you did and even if you lived your whole life doing good but had one sin, that one sin God will judge you for and punish you in an eternal lake of fire. This is what God did because He loved you: He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in your place on the cross. The wages of sin is death and that is what Christ paid for you on your account. Judgment is real and God does not want to send you there; you are a sinner that deserves the punishment. You need to put your trust in Jesus Christ alone to forgive your sins in order for you to go to heaven. The second is if you are saved but have sin in your life, you need to confess and forsake that sin, telling God, “I’m sorry about what I did, and please help me not to do it anymore.” If you have sin in your life, you will never know the joy that you should have in Christ, and your life will be miserable. The last thing that I want to do is to challenge you to live for the Lord. He knows everything; that’s a fact! He will reward you for living for Him; another fact. The question is whether or not you will. How can you live for Christ? Here are a couple suggestions. First characterize your life as a life of prayer. Pray always. Get alone and pray to God by yourself. Pray with your family and not just at meals either. Second, read your Bible slowly and prayerfully; so you may understand what God wants you to know from His word that day. Third, go to church regularly. Church is where one is encouraged, challenged, and grows from other believers. It is where you can also serve others to build them up. Fourthly, live what you read in your Bible and what you hear at church. Be open to share with others the hope that you have in Christ, so they may know how to go to heaven. We all should do this, knowing that God knows what we do, and will reward if we do it through Him.