Re-post: God Knows Everything

Image credit: woodleywonderworks (via we were little children in Sunday School seventy years or so ago we used to sing a chorus that went like this:

He sees all you do, He hears all you say,
Our God is writing all the time, time, time.

Sometimes, in that simple little one room church in a prairie town in Western Canada, the superintendent would add a few words of earnest counsel. He wanted to be sure we understood. We would gaze up at him wide-eyed. God knows everything. It was a heavy message for little impressionable minds.

Choruses like these formed an early chapter in our moral training. The bottom line issue was that God knows us altogether and we can’t hide anything from him so we should keep this in mind when we go about our daily activities. I thought of those early lessons this morning as I read about the outrageously wicked King Herod the Great, and the innocent little Baby Jesus in Bethlehem.

They called him Herod “the Great” for good reasons. He built the seaport at Caesarea and wisely named it after the emperor. He built a theater in Jerusalem and an amphitheater outside the city. He set in motion the rebuilding of the temple which became a magnificent structure for the Jewish people. Herod was an exceptionally skilful administrator and diplomat.

But power was his issue, and he used it ruthlessly. His police were everywhere. Purges were frequent. His own wife, Mariamne, was marched off to execution because he suspected her of plotting against him. Her three sons also, and five others of his children from various unions met the same end. He even had all but two members of the ruling council of Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin, murdered. Herod’s viciousness was about on a par with the viciousness of a Saddam Hussein.

So, when some mysterious figures called Magi arrived in Jerusalem coming from a land as far away as Persia, the word spread through the city fast. The place must have buzzed. And when Herod learned these Magi claimed to have been divinely guided by a heavenly light to come to the birthplace of a baby born to be King of the Jews, his paranoid tendencies flared.

No matter that the child the Magi sought was a miracle baby sent by God to be the redeemer of the world. How could such an infant be safeguarded against the murderous jealousy of a powerful sovereign who would stop at nothing to keep his shaky throne secure?

Here’s how: God in Heaven knew what was in Herod’s mind. God knows everything. He sent a warning to the baby’s human father, Joseph. He sent it by means of a dream in the night: Get up right away and get out of town; head for Egypt; the murderous Herod intends to find and kill the child. Joseph obeyed and the child’s life was spared.

Today we have a more sophisticated word for the belief that God knows everything. We say he is omniscient. But he can’t be omniscient unless he knows the end from the beginning, and the whole sweep of history down to its minutest detail. The psalmist, David, wrote, “Before a word is on my tongue/ you know it completely, O Lord.” (Ps. 139:4) Jesus said his Father sees the insignificant sparrow fall. He also said that his Father alone knows the future date for the end of human history.

The little choruses sung in Sunday Schools 70 years ago may not fit our present cultural moods. Times have changed. But the truth has not changed. It is still a cornerstone conviction of orthodox Christians that God knows everything. And when we operate on that conviction we handle the crises of life better and our daily walk is more stable.

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Photo credit: woodleywonderworks (via


One thought on “Re-post: God Knows Everything

  1. Psalm 147 speaks of God’s omniscience.

    ’’ He determines the number of the stars
    and calls them each by name.
    Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
    his understanding has no limit.’’ Psalm 147:4-5 NIV

    God’s knowledge is infinite.He is omniscient.

    Young children at Sunday school in a little town on the prairie in Saskatchewan must have been struck with awe when they heard God knows everything .

    I was certainly awed when Miss Parry told our infant class, that God can see everything and knows everything that ever was ,is now, and ever will be, everywhere. I first heard this truth in a little school in the village of Farley Hill, Berkshire, England.

    I must have thought about it.God knew what colour tie my mother had knotted for me that morning,what the weather was like over in Wokingham and what I would be when I grew up –absolutely everything ,including things I couldn’t even imagine.It was a lot for a very young mind to grasp.I think the very idea is mind boggling for all, a great mystery beyond human comprehension.Most things about God are.

    King Herod, seems to have been a very cruel ruler,unable to sympathize with ordinary people.His main concern seems to have been keeping things smooth with the Roman occupiers,and above all maintaining his elevated position as monarch.

    So when magi arrived in Jerusalem looking for a baby who they had esoteric knowledge would be be King,Herod feared for his crown.For these magi were the kind of men (the Wycliffe bible calls them ‘astromiens’ not magi ) who it was widely believed,could discern events from the position of stars and comets in the sky.Stars and comets were considered portentous signs back then and for the next millennium or so.

    By divine providence ,God,being all seeing and all knowing knew what was in Herod’s heart.The magi suspected it.That’s why they avoided calling in on Herod on their way back home.But God knew it.He saw and knew all in Herod’s heart.

    The rest is history.God directed the holy family to fly to Egypt,to be safely out of Herod’s harm .This reminds me of a funny anecdote I read about another group of children in another Sunday school. I read in a book talking about teaching children the bible.

    The Sunday school class were drawing pictures of the Flight to Egypt which their Sunday school teacher had just read to them.One little boy drew a plane with a group of figures in the fusilage and one in the cockpit.Teacher asked who the people were.The little boy said ‘That’s Joseph and Mary and Jesus in their seats and in the front , that’s Pontius the pilot flying the plane to Egypt.’

    When we hear the Bible as children there are so many strange unfamiliar names of people and places and ideas that are hard to grasp .There is so much to learn when we are children.Even after a lifetime we know next to nothing compared with God.We can’t know everything.Our minds are finite.But God is infinite and He does know everything,including each of us. He knows us better than we know ourselves.He created us and we are His and He loves us and cares for us as His own.

    We do not know everything or anything like.But we are safe and secure in God’s Hands,for God does know everything.God’s knowledge and wisdom is infinite.We can rely on Him,put our complete trust in His omnisience .In His Hands we are completely secure.

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