What is meant by the Essence of God? God is Spirit; He is self-existent; He is possessed of eternality; His greatness is expressed in the word “immensity.” If we focus on the non-moral attributes of God we would consider His immutability, His infinite wisdom, His omnipotence, His omnipresence, and His omniscience. By omnipotence we mean that God can do anything and everything that is consistent with His will and character (Jer 32:17, 27). By omnipresence we mean that, because God is possessed of immensity, He is therefore everywhere (Psa 139:7-12). Omniscience means that God knows everything and from all eternity (Psa 139:1-10). It is the subject of the Omniscience of God which is the theme of this article.
God knows everything and from all eternity. In Acts 15:18 we read, “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” Omniscience brings together the entire panorama of eternity: the past, the present, and the future, with equal reality, as one eternal present, before the mind of God.
We have stated that God’s omniscience is declared in Psalm 139:1-10. Notice the references to God’s knowledge: “Thou hast searched me and known me … Thou knowest … Thou understandest … Thou art acquainted … Thou knowest … Such knowledge … It is high!” David, being borne along by the Holy Spirit of God in describing the greatness of God, was exulting in and worshiping God, because of the stupendous thought that nothing could escape the knowledge of God! God’s omniscience is further declared in Psalm 147:5: “His understanding is infinite.” The word “infinite” here means “without numbering.” There is no way to put a number, or a limit, on the knowledge of God! In Isaiah we read that God “declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (46:10). We are perhaps all familiar with Solomon’s inspired words: “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Prov 15:3). Further, we know that God’s character and His inspired Word are inseparable. Consider the passage in Hebrews: “The Word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do” (4:12-13). The Lord Jesus spoke of the omniscience of God when He said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matt 10:29-31).
Finally, we see that only Omniscience can comprehend Omniscience. The Lord Jesus said, “All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and He to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matt 11:27).
We see it in creation. The psalmist said, “O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all. The earth is full of Thy riches” (Ps 104:24). In Jeremiah we read, “He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by His understanding” (51:15). We also see His knowledge and wisdom displayed in the course of the ages and in His dispensational dealings. Paul wrote, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Rom 11:33-36). Of course, we also see God’s omniscience in all the fulfilled prophecies of the Bible. Additionally, we see His omniscience in His compassionate care: ” … for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him” (Matt 6:7-8).
Derivative Doctrines of Omniscience
The omniscience of God is a convicting doctrine. The Bible teaches us that man is ever and always within the observation of God. Moses wrote, “Thou hast set “our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance” (Ps 90:8). Nothing escapes the Divine knowledge. Further, God’s omniscience is a guarantee that all of His judgments will be “according to truth,” “according to deeds,” and “without respect of persons” (Rom 2:2, 6, 11). It is also a controlling doctrine. Joseph, in the secrecy of the house of absent Potiphar said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen 39:1-9). It is a comforting doctrine. In Malachi 3:16-17, we read, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it.” Job said, “He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (23:10). Another writer comforted and encouraged his readers when he wrote, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Heb 6:10). He sees; He will recompense. Finally, we should point out that God’s perfect knowledge is accompanied by His perfect wisdom. “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy; to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).