God is omniscient; He has a complete and perfect understanding of all things—past, present, and future. He is intimately aware of the smallest detail (like the number of hairs on your head) and simultaneously knows the future of the universe. He is also the source of all knowledge.
Much like the other attributes of God, the omniscience of God isn’t easy to grasp. After all, our minds are limited, but God’s is not. Let’s take a closer look at God’s omniscience, where we see it in The Bible, and what it means for believers today.
What is Omniscience?
In Latin “Omni” means all and “Scientia” means knowledge, so omniscience is the attribute of having a complete understanding of all things in the past, present, and future. It is part of God’s unchangeable and unlimited nature. Simply put, nothing lies outside God’s realm of understanding—He has nothing to learn and is incapable of forgetting.
The Omniscience of God Displayed in The Bible
God’s unlimited understanding is immeasurable, yet we see it carefully woven through Scripture. Sometimes it is stated plainly for us, and other times it is made clear through events and prophecies fulfilled.
Omniscience in Prophecy
Because God is omniscient, what He says will happen, happens. The prophecies (God’s foretelling of the future) in the Bible are either already fulfilled or waiting to be fulfilled—there are no errors. God has complete knowledge of the future.
There are over 300 Messianic (about the Messiah) prophecies in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the birth, life, and death of Jesus. Some of the better-known ones are from the book of Isaiah, the prophet.
Isaiah 7:14 (ESV): Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (See the fulfillment in Matt 1:18-25)
Isaiah 53:7 (ESV): He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. (See the fulfillment in Matt 27:14)
In the New Testament, Jesus foretold the future too. One example is Jesus speaking of His own resurrection—He told the people the temple (referring to His body) would be rebuilt in three days after being destroyed (John 2:19). See the fulfillment in 1 Cor 15:4.
Omniscience in His Relationship with Us
God’s knowledge of His children is complete and unparalleled. He is aware of every physical, emotional, and spiritual facet of our beings—He did create us after all! We cannot hide anything from God who even knows our next thought before we do.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.Psalm 139:1-4 (ESV)
Not only does God have perfect knowledge of us, He graciously imparts knowledge TO us. Any understanding we have is a gift from above. He is the source of all knowledge.
Proverbs 2:6 (ESV) For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding
What Does God’s Omniscience Mean for Us?
When we consider God’s perfect knowledge, our only response should be to worship Him.
Because God knows all things, we can trust His promises to believers for the future—what a comfort that is! He has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:3). He will wipe every tear from our eyes (Rev 21:4). But we also need to heed His warnings! There will be judgment (Matt 25:32). One day, every knee will bow before Jesus, the King (Phil 2:10-11).
Because God knows everything, we can trust His plan for our lives. As humans, our decisions are based on incomplete information but God’s knowledge is perfect and so are His ways. In a world that seems to be spinning out of control, we (believers) can place our trust in God who has all the information and promises to work all things together for good (Rom 8:28)—what precious peace!
Because He knows all things, we can trust Him to take care of the wrongs (and those who wrong us) in our lives—and He promises to (Rom 12:19)!
We cannot hide from God (Ps 139:7), and we can’t hide anything from Him. He knows all things, even our ugliest sin. If the God who knows even the darkest secrets in our hearts promises to forgive and cleanse us (1 John 1:9), we can rejoice, He will do it! We need only ask.
Have you placed your trust in God, the One whose thoughts of you outnumber the grains of sand (Ps 139: 17-18)? Beloved, there is no hope outside of Him.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.Psalm 147:5 (ESV)