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What does it mean that God is omniscient?

What does it mean that God is omniscient?

Does God really know everything? Everything I do, everything I think? Yes, that is what the Bible teaches us many times. Let’s focus on one chapter: Psalm 139.

God knows when we sin

‘Omniscient’ is just a difficult word for that God knows everything. There was a time when David – the author of psalm 139 – didn’t feel comfortable with that thought: “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” (Psalm 139:7-8). It’s clear that there had been a time for David when he wanted to flee Gods presence. When we sin and do not repent, we would like to hide our sins from God (and man). In many religions there is the thought that if nobody saw your sin, it is not there.

He forgives us when we go to Him and confess our sins

Yet the Bible tells us a different thing and David knew that all along: Gods knows everything and when we sin, it may be that nobody else knows about it, but God does!

Yet, Psalm 139 is loved by many Christians. Why? Because there is the other side of God’s knowledge. If we have surrendered to God and have got to know Him through Jesus Christ, His Son, then we learn that He is a merciful God. He forgives when we go to Him and confess our sins. Then we have a Father in heaven who takes cares of us and promises us eternal life. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39). And when we live in this relationship of love with the Father through his Son Jesus Christ, we suddenly see how Gods knowledge becomes a deep comfort. All of a sudden we realize that God knows our whole life, He will carry us through. When we sin, we may flee to Him for forgiveness and make a new start every day. And we know that nothing is stronger than He is, nothing can separate us from Him, He is with us all the time! Clearly this is what David learned and what caused him to write this beautiful Psalm.

God is always there

At every place, at every time, in every circumstance, God is there. We are never alone. He knows our fears, our weaknesses and our joys. He knows our wishes and needs, even when we don’t know them. He knows us deeper than we know ourselves. When God is with us, who will be against us? (Romans 8:31)

David continues the psalm with praise for God’s deep knowledge:

Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you. (v.16-18)

He even ends with a prayer that shows it is a deep comfort to him that God knows everything about him: “Search me, O God, and know my heart!” (v.23). If we know God and love Him, it will make our hearts glad as well to realise that He knows everything about us.

How does this Bible passage speak to you? Please share your thoughts below!

Also read What does it mean that God is omnipotent?

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Wilke den Hertog

Wilke den Hertog

Wilke den Hertog (1975) was born in the Netherlands. He studied theology at the University of Leiden Apeldoorn en Tübingen. He became a pastor in 2002 and in 2014 he and his family moved to Thailand to become long term missionaries. He is married with Marlies and they have two children, Lizette (2011) and Matthias (2013). Wilke and Marlies are churchplanters in the province of Isaan.

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What does it mean that God is omniscient?