Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Only God Knows

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 are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Psalm 139:1-6

"Only God knows." Have you ever said that? "Only God knows what is going on in that boys head?" Or maybe, "God only knows why I can't seem to catch a break." It's an expression that we sometimes use but when was the last time you really stopped to think about it. What is it that only God knows? And if there isn't anything that only He knows, is He still God?

According to Scripure God knows everything. I John 3:20 says, "If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything" (emphasis mine). The $5 theological term for this is omniscience. God is all-knowing. But that still doesn't answer the question. Is there something that only God knows? Although, it is true that God is the only one who knows everything, Scripture points out that God takes particular pride in the fact that He knows the future. In fact, it seems that it matters to God that He knows the future when others do not. Throughout Isaiah chapters 41-48 God makes it clear that knowing the future is a perogative for Him alone, something that marks Him out as unique and authentic over against the false gods of the pagan nations (see Isaiah 41:21-24, Isaiah 42:8-9, Isaiah 45:20-21, Isaiah 46:5,9-10, Isaiah 48:3-11, 14-15.) Over and over again in Scripture God sends prophets to reveal to His people what the future holds. Often His people didn't listen, but never, not once, did His word fail to come to pass.

Okay so God is omniscient. He is a super-genius, and His knowledge is far beyond what we can know, but why does that matter? It matters for many reasons, but let me highlight just two. First, it matters because it means that God is trustworthy. Can you imagine giving your life wholly to a god who might lead you down the wrong path because He didn't know exactly what would happen? I am able to follow God with confidence because I know that nothing in my future will surprise Him. Though there may be unpleasant things on the road ahead, God sees them coming. There are no divine uh-ohs. He is prepared, and as long as I follow Him obediently, I can make it through any challenge ahead.

Second, not only does God know everything but He knows everything there is to know about you. Hebrews 4:13 says, "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." God knows you completely. He saw you when you were formed in the womb (Psalm 139). He knows what you need before you ask for it (Matthew 6:8). He even knows the very number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30). God knows more about you than you do. To me, the fact that God chooses to love me, knowing all that He does about me, is dumbfounding. I am reprehensible in so many ways. I am weird in so many ways. I am still sinful in so many ways. And God sees them all. He knows all of my warts, all of my shortcomings. He knows all of the reasons why I don't deserve His love, yet He still loves me! What a wonderful God we serve! God knows you completely, and He has chosen to show you His love by sending His Son to die in your place on the cross. Isn't it time that you got to know Him a little bit better?

For further reading... 
*It should be noted that much of this talk and this series draws information from Wayne Grudem's textbook Systematic Theology. I am also leaning on notes taken from my Systematic Theology I class taught by Dr. Bruce Ware at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.

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