Exhaustive Knowledge

The attributes of God are a blessing, full of encouragement and comfort in the life of the believer. Yet, they are not without their difficulties and challenges. Naturally, the attributes of God are complex to define and hard to understand. We are, after all, striving to understand a perfect, infinite, holy God with our finite minds, through the revealed Word of God. In reference to God’s omniscience, this is such an attribute that can boggle the mind. I pray there is clarity as we proceed forward.

                As I mentioned, in reference to God’s omnipresence, “Omni” is Latin for “all.”[1] Therefore, not only is God “all” present but he is also “all” knowing. God’s knowledge is all encompassing and exhaustive. Most theologians define God’s omniscience as knowing all things possible and actual, and all things past, present, and future.[2] Consider A.W Pink, ‘God is omniscient. He knows everything: Everything possible, everything actual; all events and all creatures, of the past, the present, and the future. He is perfectly acquainted with every detail in the life of every being in heaven, in earth, and hell…his knowledge is perfect”[3] Brakel mentions the same, “God is also cognizant of all things which currently exist or will exist- that is, prior to their existence.” He continues, “This is not merely true in a general sense, but it relates to each individual matter or action as if each were singular in its existence.”[4] The Bible, of course, supports this teaching. Job 37:16 references God as “perfect in knowledge.” John, in 1 John 3:20 says God “knows all things.” Hebrews 4:13 says, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Commenting on Hebrews 4:13, Phillips says, “Interestingly, the writer of Hebrews here compares God’s Word to God’s eyes. It uncovers every heart, every act, every intention, every thought, and desire and brings them before the penetrating gaze of the living God.”[5] God sees everything and knows all things.

                I would be negligent to not mention that the greatest object of God’s knowledge is himself. God not only knows all things outside of himself, but he also knows himself perfectly. To quote Brakel again, “God knows Himself, and that perfectly.” To which he quotes 1 Corinthians 2:11 in support, “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.”[6] In verse 2:10, we are told by Paul that the “Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” God’s knowledge is a perfect self-knowledge. This is important because “Since God knows himself, he knows all he is capable of doing, all possible worlds that he might create, and all possible histories his providence might direct.”[7]

                God’s omniscience should bring us to the glorification of God! Because God is all-knowing, God is not “irrational by nature, acting either from compulsion or rashly, but a being that is intelligent in the highest degree.” Therefore, “he perceives in detail not many things, but all things, and all truths of all things.” And not only perceives all things but also “wisely arranges all his judgments, ways, and works.”[8] May this cause us to proclaim with Paul in Romans 11:33-34, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” Praise and honor be to the all-wise God in whom we can find endless consultation and confidence!

[1] July 14th, 2020 blog entry, Immeasurable and Everywhere, http://gcclimablog.com/immeasurable-and-everywhere/,

[2] P. van Mastricht, Theorectical-Practical Theology, Vol. 2, 260 is such a theologian.

[3] A.W. Pink, Attributes of God, 15.

[4] W Brakel, Christian’s Reasonable Service, 1:103.

[5] R. Phillips, Reformed Expository Commentary; Hebrews, 141.

[6] W Brakel, Christian’s Reasonable Service, 1:103.

[7] J Beeke & P Smalley, Reformed Systematic Theology, Vol. 1, 726.

[8] P. van Mastricht, Theorectical-Practical Theology, Vol. 2, 272.