As a young girl I loved to read books about horses, and I thought I knew everything about them. But then I had a chance to ride one, and I realized that some things cannot be learned by just reading books.
This lesson really hit home in my nursing fundamentals class when I needed to learn how to take an accurate blood pressure reading. I had a good basic nursing skills manual and the demo film was life-like, but it didn’t matter. I still had to practice this skill correctly over and over to become confident and competent.
Thank goodness our great God does not have to read books, watch videos, or practice skills to know anything! God is and has always been all-knowing -- he is omniscient.
The apostle Paul wrote, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11). According to A.W. Tozer, this means that God knows himself, and that he is divinely omniscient. He is the source and author of all things, and he contains all things. God does not have to work or strain to understand anything or to know the past or the future. Tozer writes that God’s awareness, knowledge and intelligence are beyond space, time, matter, causes, and effects.
Thankfully, God knows everything about everyone. He does not lose us or forget us. He knows our every need, our every move, our every thought -- everything about us. David described this in Psalm 139:1-6.
1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Even if people do not know God, he knows them. He knows if they will accept his love and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, or if they will decide to live their lives without him. But regardless of their choice, he loves them still. In Hebrews 4:13 we are reminded that God is never surprised or fooled by people or events because “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
In view of God’s unfathomable knowledge, people might wonder why God’s very Word instructs us to pray, even as Jesus did. Tozer explains that when we pray we are not telling God anything new, but we benefit from casting our cares on him, sharing our joys and struggles, and humbly acknowledging that he is the all-knowing God. God is glorified as we depend on him, and he gives us his peace in return. Don’t delay for a minute in trusting our omniscient God.
--by Jane Hall, NCF National Director
All quotes from: A.W. Tozer, The Attributes of God, Volume 2 This is the sixteenth post in a series by NCF Director Jane Hall on God’s attributes. She is inspired by the writings of A.W. Tozer in The Attributes of God, Volume 2