The Omniscience of God – Psalm 139:1-6

God Knows Everything That Transpires Throughout His Creation

1 You have searched me, Lord,
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, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Scrupulous Search

David, the Psalmist, regales his understanding of God’s omniscient character.  He first acknowledges that God searches us out to know everything about us.  In another Psalm, he acknowledges that God tests us by day and even by night:

Though you probe my heart,
though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
my mouth has not transgressed.

God, being perfect, is completely thorough as he searches us out.  David lists several aspects of this search, and the resulting knowledge from the search, that God learns and knows about us.

Perfect Perception

God, being omnipresent, is a witness to everything that transpires in His creation – the universe.  Nothing escapes His attention.  God is completely aware of our every action, and is interested even in the minutest details of what goes on in our lives.  His love is so encompassing, that He wants to know every detail of our activity.  He even pays attention to when we get up and sit down.  His vastness of love ensures that He is aware of even those things that we consider trivial.  He perceives all things, and especially pays attention to all of our ways.  Just as human parents watch their young children, waiting for the “magic moments” when they achieve the next big “mile stone”, such as crawling, so does  our Heavenly Father, with great delight, watch over all that we do as well.

Transparent Thoughts

And it is not just what we do that interests our Heavenly Father, but also what we think.  God has given us amazing minds to perceive and create.  We are truly image-bearers of God, displaying to the world and the angelic realm the glory and the creativity of our Creator.  God especially pays attention to our thoughts (something that no other created being can do):

For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

But don’t be deceived.  The enemy of our souls has been carefully watching mankind for at least the last six thousand years.  As as the writer of Ecclesiastes states, “there is nothing new under the sun.”  Our enemy has us “pegged” because they have been relentlessly watching us and probing us as well.  And just as Ivan Pavlov examined and conditioned his subjects, so does our enemy know our strengths and weaknesses.  You can learn a lot by observing someone, and even accurately predict what they will do given certain situations and circumstances.  But you don’t actually know what they are thinking; you are just able to make an educated guess.

God, on the other hand, already knows what our thoughts will be before we even have them.  So careful and involved is He in His creation, He leaves nothing to “chance” but knows all things.

Heavenly Hedge

The Psalmist, David, recognizes the sovereign hand of God upon his life.  He sees how God plays an active role in his protection.  God also hems David in to both protect David from others, as well as to guide David to where he should be going.  Paul experienced something similar to this as well:

6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Unattainable Understanding

As David reviews his thoughts on the knowledge and character of God, he openly admits that such knowledge is too wonderful for him to even being to comprehend.  Since such knowledge is so vast and incomprehensible, David does not even try to attain it.  He merely acknowledges that God is just that good, that full of love, and that wonderful.  And He praises God for in song, and even this song (for the Psalms are songs).

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Are we still amazed at the character and vastness of God through observation of Him and His creation?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, knowledge of You is too wonderful for me.  You reveal Yourself to me through Your Spirit, and it overwhelms me when I think about how vast and great You are.  Help me to always see You in this light so that I would not take You for granted.  Help me to ponder Your goodness and grace, seeking out nuance after nuance, that I might participate in Your character, and know You better.  Give me the ability and the strength to walk in the ways You have already revealed to me about You, so that I would better represent You as Your image-bearer.  Show me wonderful things in Your word, and help me to treasure them in my heart.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Note: This blog has been edited to reflect the proper Psalm # in the title.

The Word of God – Hebrews 4:12-13

The Word Is Alive

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Alive and Active

The word of God is not just some words that are written down, or passed orally on from generation to generation.  They are alive and active.  The Bible says that God’s word does not go void – it will accomplish the purpose that God intended it to accomplish.  Each and every word in the Bible has the power to change lives.  It patiently waits until the soul that reads it is prepared to receive its message.  It then delivers the most powerful of messages – the message that God intended for that person.  It renews our minds and guides our thoughts.

Sharper than Swords

The Bible says that the word of God is sharper than any sword.  A sword is effective because it is a power-concentrating device.  When sharpened, a sword will deliver all of the power of the swing or stab either onto a very sharp point or edge.  This delivers a significant amount of force where the edge or tip lands, so that a swing of the sword is like bringing tens of thousands of pounds per square inch of force onto the object it strikes. This will cause the object to cut or break apart.  In our case, the word of God is able to cut deep into our hearts, and expose our thoughts and attitudes.

Powerful Penetration

Because of the precision of the truth, it penetrates deep into our thoughts and attitudes.  God’s word exposes the deepest, innermost parts of our minds and hearts, and lays them bare for us to see.  The truth is able to shed light on these things, and to expose the darkness within us, as well as show the way to repentance.

Just Judgment

Because the word is true, it is able to rightly judge our thoughts and attitudes.  It provides the necessary tools to indicate our current state of mind, as well as our intents.  God is the perfect judge, for He sees the end from the beginning, and nothing is withheld from Him.  His word is accurate, and is able to rightly judge us.

Details on Display

Because God is omnipresent, His word is an accurate representation of this aspect of His character.   Nothing in all creation will be withheld from His sight.  Try as we might, we cannot hide in the darkness, for darkness is as light to Him who created the universe.  The word puts our thoughts on display for Him and for us should we choose to accept God’s sovereignty.  Even if we don’t, at the appointed time, all will be displayed by God, who will reward for what was done in the flesh, both good and evil.

Announce your Account

And everyone shall be required to give an accounting of what they have done.  This is evident by the account in Job where the angels were gathered to give an accounting of their actions before God.  No one will be spared this.  We can either give an account with the blood of Christ as our protection, or be in front of the White Throne seat of judgment.  The choice is ours.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Are we allowing God’s word to penetrate our heart?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, Holy is Your Name.  Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, here on Earth as is in Heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread for tomorrow.  Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For You are holy, perfect without blemish, and You see everything correctly.  You know what was, what is, and what will be, for You have already seen it.  Father, help me that I may allow Your word to penetrate deep into my heart, that all darkness and evil will be exposed, that I may bring it before You to be healed.  Give me the strength and ability to overcome the flesh, the devil, and the world, that Your kingdom may be established in my heart.  Help me to be content with what You provide, for You have given me all that I need.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Combat Training with God – 2 Corinthians 10:5

 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

We have been given a great gift – the gift of free will.  To have that gift, God has given us a mind that is able to think with reason AND emotion.  Part of spiritual warfare is recognizing the attacks of the enemy.  Paul indicates to us here that we are to take every thought that we have captive to obey Christ.

The word “thought” in the Greek is noEma.  The Strong’s note for this word indicates that it is:

a perception, i.e. purpose, or (by implication) the intellect, disposition, itself.

We are to take every thought, and path where our thoughts will go, captive (in submission) to Christ.  This is a challenge, but one that the Holy Spirit of God can overcome.

We are to implement a filter based on the Word of God so that every thought we have can be evaluated to see if it is good or malicious.  In the world of computers, there is a device (or application) that does this; it is called a firewall.  Firewalls protect you from malicious programs written by people who want to take control of your computer, steal your money, your intellectual property, and in some cases, render your computer so messed up that it is inoperable. This sounds an awful lot like someone we know:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Once this happens, it takes a qualified computer professional to get rid of everything bad.  Sometimes, this requires reinstalling all of your programs and restoring your files from a good backup (if you have even backed up your critical data!).

The Word of God transforms our mind and protects it against the social engineering attempts of the devil, the world, and the flesh to try to usurp our thought processes.  Some people have said, “Sure, I read the Bible once.  That’s all I need.”  But we see in Ephesians 5:26 that we are continually being washed clean by the Word of God.  The word “washed” in the Greek is katharisas.  It is the word from which we get the English word catharsis.

The Word of God is like anti-virus software: it checks every file (thought) in our file system (brain, patterns of thought) for known malicious software and configurations (patterns of sin  – arguments and lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God) and removes them before they can do any more harm.  But just like viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, and other types of malware, they often cause damage before the antivirus program can clean them off or stop them.  It is the same with sin in our lives.

It is said that some people, as they read the Word of God and apply it to their lives, have had their hearts and minds so infused with the Word of God that when they think, they think in scripture.  Wow!  To know the Word of God so well, and have it experientially in your heart so deeply that it is the first way your mind forms thoughts!

So, let’s ask the question:  How deeply has the Word of God penetrated my heart?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You amaze us with Your forethought for our every need.  Even Your Word has greater purpose than to just instruct and provide direction; it cleanses us, protects us, renews us, and restores our minds.  Grant me success this day, Father, as I read Your Word, that it would so penetrate my heart that it would never come out.  Help me to remember Your word in such a way that all darkness and unrighteousness is exposed for what it is – sin.  Help me to reprogram my mind, that it would be transformed into what You would want, rather than what the world, the devil, and the flesh want it to be.  Guard my every thought, and help me to bring it captive to Christ.  This I ask in the precious and powerful name of your Most Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?