David Jeremiah - Knowing an All-Knowing God
Consider the wisdom of God which is billions of times greater than human knowledge. It is infinite. Every bit of God's knowledge is always fully present in his mind. It never grows dim, nor does it fade. God knows instantly with fullness of perfection and he knows every possible item of knowledge concerning everything that exists or that could exist anywhere in the universe at any time in the past or that may ever exist in the ages to come. While the implications of God's knowledge of everything including us may sound intimidating, it is exactly the opposite. God will never misunderstand you. He never takes something the wrong way and nothing you could do could ever deflect his love for you. In today's message we continue to spend time with the God you may not know, who is also the God who loves you more than you know. So stay tuned for today's edition of "Turning Point".
Has it occurred to you that nothing occurs to God? That is, he never just remembers something. He never has a new thought pop into his mind. Never has an old one slipped from his memory. Never wracks his brain to figure out what to do. He never wonders about anything. He is never surprised. He instantly and eternally knows every fact about everything, everywhere, forever, and he knows it perfectly, completely, and unerringly. God has never learned anything. He cannot learn anything. It may be startling to say that God has never learned and cannot learn but if God could learn something that he didn't already know, he wouldn't be infinite, he wouldn't be perfect, he wouldn't be eternal, and he couldn't be God. In this message, I wanna tell you, you have a God who knows you and loves you. David wrote about this in Psalm 139. Listen to his words. He said, "You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you're familiar with all my ways".
Now listen to this. "Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely". According to this passage, God knows you better than you know yourself. He knows the status of your health. He knows the temperature of your emotions. He knows the level of your faith and the purity of your thoughts. He knows the maturity of your soul. He knows the hurts that are hiding in your past and the fear that is clouding your future. He knows what you're going to say tomorrow. He knows every word you'll speak in all the conversations you'll ever have in your entire life. He knows when you come and go, when you sit and stand, when you rise and fall. David is so overwhelmed as he ponders this truth about God that he writes in Psalm 139, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret. Your eyes saw my substance, when I was yet unformed". And God has planned every day of David's life in advance. Psalm 139, verse 16 says: "Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed".
How then should that make us feel? Let David tell us, again in Psalm 139. I love this first statement: "How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can't count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you're still with me"! I never really thought about this before. The thoughts that God has concerning me and how precious they are. Like all of God's other attributes, God's all-knowing nature is impossible for us to comprehend. When the Lord Jesus Christ was on this earth we learned that he voluntarily divested himself of the independent use of his attributes. He did not play God while he was in the flesh. But on occasions, his uniqueness and his deity and his omniscience broke out. Let me tell you what I mean. In the Gospels, Jesus instantly knew the thoughts of everybody who was around him. Yet Matthew 12 tells a story about a demon-possessed man who came to Jesus and the Pharisees were muttering among themselves about the commotion, and in verse 25 we read: "But Jesus knew their thoughts".
When a man with a withered hand came to Jesus, the critics were really upset but Luke 6:8 says: "But Jesus knew their thoughts". And when the crowds wanted to hail Jesus as King, the Bible says he withdrew because "he knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for he knew what was in man". Likewise, John 6:61 says that, "when Jesus knew in himself that his disciples complained about this, he said to them, 'Does this offend you?'" And a few verses later, John wrote: "Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe and who would betray him," wow. Even in his humanity, during the days of his earthly ministry, Jesus seemed to possess this perception or knowledge beyond the range of human capacity. In one occasion in the book of Matthew, we read these words. Jesus is saying this: "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes".
Now stop and think about that. How could Jesus know that? How could Jesus possibly know what would have happened in remote cities in a hypothetical situation? From this passage, we learn that the omniscience of God means he not only knows everything that is actual, he knows everything that is possible. There are no hypothetical questions for God. He knows how every contingency would resolve itself if it were implemented. Well, you say, "Well, Dr. Jeremiah, that's a high and lofty truth. He sure is worthy of our worship, he knows everything, but what does that mean to me? How do I process that? How does that work in my life"? And I'd like to give you three or four things that you should take away from this. First of all, let's talk about God's omniscience and our confession of sin. God's all-knowing nature isn't simply an academic study. "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy from God".
Isn't it kind of foolish that we try to cover our sins from an omniscient God? We posture, we spin, we do all of this fake stuff that happens, and it may work with those who we know in the flesh but it's not making much of an impression on God because he knew you were gonna do that before you did it. And here's the thing you have to understand: he didn't stop loving you in the process. And he wants you to know the joy of forgiveness for what you do that is wrong and you don't have to get a whole bunch of steam up to go and tell him it because he already knows it. So confess your sin. You know what confession means? It means to say the same thing about your sin that God says. Confess your sin. Tell God you're sorry. Get back on the track and keep going. But to try to hide your sin or to think in some silly way you can cover it from an almighty omniscient God, that doesn't make any sense at all. And it will rob you of your job and of your fellowship with God. It won't rob you of your salvation.
David lived that way for a while, remember? And he prayed, "Oh, Lord God, restore unto me the joy of my salvation". He didn't lose his salvation. He just lost his joy. Have you lost your joy? Just go and tell God what's going on. So that's how God's omniscience affects our confession of sin. Let's talk about God's omniscience and our fellowship with God. When we began our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, that's when we start to understand and rejoice in God's omniscience for it's a tremendous encouragement in our daily walk. We enjoy the security of knowing that he knows us, he knows all about us, and he still loves us. His love, his omniscience, are infinite which means he can never know us better or love us less than he does right now. He is an almighty omniscient God who knows everything about who we are and loves us eternally and infinitely. He could never love us less, he could never love us more because he loves us perfectly in all that we are.
Some of us struggle because in our human relationships, love is often performance based. "I will love you if you do such and such," and when we stop doing such and such, we say we don't love them anymore. We hear all kinds of flimsy excuses for relationships breaking up like not being connected or, "I don't feel your love," or whatever, but you never have to worry about that with God. You can count on it. No matter what you did today, God loves you as much as he did yesterday and he'll love you the same amount tomorrow. He's an all-knowing God and his love never is changed, no matter. Now, does that mean you should go on doing things that offend him? Absolutely not. Confession, that's the way to get your heart right with God. 2 Timothy 2:19 says: "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are his.'" This is a special promise for believers. He knows that you're his, that you belong to him. You're a child of the King.
Third, these get progressively more difficult. Not only to understand but to explain. God's omniscience and our prayers. God's omniscience has much to do with the way we pray. Now listen carefully. The Lord Jesus tells us to approach God in a simple and sincere way, and with full assurance that he already knows what we need before we ask him. Listen to this. "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things". And I know what's going through your mind: "If God already knows what we need why do we pray? Isn't it a waste of time to talk to God since he already knows what we need, what we're gonna say"? Yet God has commanded us to pray and if we didn't know anything else, that would be enough, wouldn't it? Even if we don't understand all the dynamics of prayer, we read in the Bible: "Men ought always to pray, and not faint".
So if God says we should pray, we should pray even if we don't understand some of the issues involved. But let's talk about this issue. God has commanded us to pray and, when we pray, we're doing exactly what the Lord has told us to do and have you discovered this? It is often while in prayer that we ourselves begin to realize what we really need. Prayer is how we discover submission to the will of God. We don't pray over our needs to remind God that we have them, but to acknowledge him as the source of all of our provision, to express our confidence in him and to thank him for what he does. Prayer changes us. When we pray and we connect with God in prayer and we earnestly seek his will in our lives, what happens isn't so much that God moves in some way for us. We move toward God. And when you get in sync with God, you're under the spout of blessing, hallelujah. Prayer is about keeping in fellowship with God so you stay in alignment with God and, yes, when you do that, God answers prayer.
Have you ever wondered why the Scripture says: "If you ask anything according to his will, he will do it"? What does that mean? Get in alignment with God and ask anything you want 'cause if you're in the will of God, you can be sure he'll answer your prayer. And then, here's one that has filled a lot of theology books and attempts to answer this question: the omniscience of God and our suffering. And some of you need to listen carefully. God's omniscience comes to bear in our suffering. I mean, occasionally, something will happen to us so hurtful that we don't even know how to express it, even to our closest friends. And we long for someone who can understand our souls and what an encouragement to know that Almighty God is an all-knowing friend who sticks closer than a brother and knows every pulse of our heart. He may not immediately disclose all the solutions to us, but we can rest assured that he has the answers. He knows the solutions, he resolves the difficulties, he keeps his promises, his grace is always sufficient and, most of all, he knows our hearts and our hurts through every trial. We're not omniscient but God is. And in times of uncertainty, we can trust a God who is certain in all things.
The Christian life is a life of faith which is described in Hebrews 11:1 as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". What does that mean? We can paraphrase it this way: faith is trusting God when the answers have not yet appeared. Sometimes, we pray and it doesn't seem like God is listening. That's when faith goes into purpose. If we know God, we know he's a worthy God who loves us, we've looked at his holiness and his faithfulness and he never changes and he's good and he's powerful and soon we'll learn that he's loving, we know all of these things about God so when we don't know what's going on, we have to hang on to the things we do know and that's when faith happens. We trust in the God we know when we haven't yet been brought up to speed on what he's doing.
According to Psalm 147, verse 5: "God's understanding is infinite," so he has universal knowledge of every detail of every trial we will ever face. He knows how those trials came about, how many thousands of events unfolded throughout our history to cause them. He knows how many complicated aftereffects the trials will produce. He knows exactly how many tears they will bring to your eyes, how much hurt they will bring to your heart, how many blessings they will yield as the years go by. He knows the end from the beginning. So "trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding". That verse is just not the most famous life verse of God's people. It's the verse that you come to when you've asked God for help and it doesn't seem to be happening the way you thought it would, because you're leaning to your own understanding.
And the Bible says don't lean to your own understanding but trust God, the God you know, the God you're learning to know better. The ways of God are often imponderable. Sometimes we ask questions like this: "If God knows everything, both what has happened in the past and what's going to happen in the future, why does he let this happen"? That's a reasonable question, but we must make room for God's omniscience. He sees things in their totality. Listen to me. God sees everything all at once. We peer at life through a small crack in the wall. God sees this; we see this.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts". I'm sure you've had moments like I've had,* frustration that I can't figure out God. I wanna figure out everything. I'm just that way. But I can't figure out God. His ways are so high, so far beyond anything that I can comprehend. And when it comes right down to it, we have to confess that God simply has more information than we do. And we have to trust him with the margins that exist between our knowledge and his.
We have an all-knowing God, my friends and because he is omniscient we should be quick to confess our sin, which he already knows. We should be quick to enjoy his fellowship because he loves us even thought he knows everything about us. We should be quick to bring him our prayers because he knows beforehand what we need and wants to connect with us and get us on the same page. And we should never ever go anywhere else first before, in times of suffering, we go to the great Shepherd. And here it is, in one sentence: he knows us all better than we know ourselves and loves us passionately. And so much so that he wants to spend eternity with every one of us. In the Bible, it says, "And I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also". God wants us to be with him forever.
I remember reading someplace that if God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on the door. He loves you like that. And the beauty of it is, we now know that he isn't loving us because he doesn't know what we're up to. He loves us in spite of everything. He loves us as we are and he loves us way too much to leave us the way that we are. And that's why we come to church, isn't it? So we can learn more about him, become more like him, and enjoy the benefit of being in the forever family. Let me just say to you today, I know this God. He's faithful. In every situation you will ever face, God is faithful. And he wants to be faithful to you and if you don't know him in a personal way, this may seem a little strange to hear a message like this 'cause if you don't know God, you don't understand it. But you know God first by putting your trust in his Son, Jesus Christ, and there's no better thing you could ever do than put your trust in Jesus Christ.