Summary: What do we mean when we say that God knows everything?
GOD’S PERSPECTIVE – OMNISCIENCE
A man selling vacuum cleaners knocked on the door of a remote farmhouse. When the lady of the house opened the door, he walked in and dumped a bag of dirt on the floor. “Now,” boasted the salesman, “I want to make a bargain with you. If this super-duper, new vacuum cleaner doesn't pick up every bit of this dirt, I’ll eat what’s left.” “Here’s a spoon,” said the farmer’s wife, “we don’t have any electricity.” That man thought he knew what he was doing but obviously did not. Has there ever been a time in your life when you wished you knew more than you did our had more information?
Psalms 139:1 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. O LORD, you have searched me 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 know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in -- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Today we are beginning our series Getting to Know God. Over the next 4 weeks we will be looking at God’s divine attributes. Tony Evans writes that there are three attributes which always work in tandem: God knows what needs to be done,¬ that’s omniscience. He’s always wherever He needs to be in order to do whatever needs to be done,¬ that’s omnipresence. He has the power to do it,¬ that’s omnipotence. Today we will look at the first of these which is omniscience.
When we say that God is omniscient, we are saying that God is ALL KNOWING. God knows EVERYTHING. His knowledge is complete. He knows everything that has ever happened and everything that ever will happen. This scripture says three things about God’s knowledge;
1. The SOURCE of God’s Knowledge (vs. 1) - You have searched me
It says in verse 1 “O LORD, you have searched me …” The word used here for SEARCH literally means TO DIG or to penetrate deeply or examine intimately. It was often applied to the search for precious metals and gems. Have you ever seen someone panning for gold? They sift through the dirt very carefully to find that gold or precious gem. Another way to look at this word is to picture an archaeological dig. Whenever they think they come across something of value, the archaeologists and their helpers remove the dirt ever so carefully, scrutinizing everything very carefully and gently. They brush everything the dust off very carefully, catalogue it accurately. And they do this with the entire area. They leave no stone unturned. That’s a picture of how God searches us and knows us.
What I want you to see is this searching is not just factual but intentional. God wants to know you.
During the last census, a mother was asked by a census taker how many children she had. She had a very large family, so she started to go through all her children, "Oh, let’s see now, there’s Billy, and there’s Harry, and there’s Martha, and there’s..." And the census taker got a little impatient and annoyed with her, "Never mind their names, just give me the number!" Well, the mother got very indignant and said to the man, "They don’t have numbers, they all have names!"
We moved to Kuwait just a few years after the Gulf war. My first car in Kuwait was one that had bullet holes in it because it survived that war. Just before the start of the gulf war the pastor of the church had gone home for a summer break and a visiting pastor was living on the church compound. He awoke to the sound of gunfire. Iraqi soldiers came into the house and told everyone to stay where they were. At some point they were able to get out and into the car.
They drove out onto the Gulf Road right in front of a group of Iraqi tanks and made their way to the US Embassy where they were stranded for the duration of the war. During the occupation of Kuwait, the American Military stayed in touch with the people who were stranded in the embassy. Every week they would go up to the roof of the embassy and place a tennis ball, with the label pointing up. Later in the week when the government would call to reassure everyone that they were watching them they would tell them label on the tennis ball – it was seen by the satellites that were circling overhead. I remember speaking to that pastor and he said how reassuring it was to know that someone was watching over them.