The Attributes of God: God’s Omniscience
By: Billy Rice - January 18, 2022
The omni-attributes of God refers to terms that describe three fundamental characteristics of God as seen in Scripture. When I mention the word “omni-attributes,” I can sense that some of you who are reading this are probably scratching your head and asking, “huh?”
To have a basic understanding of the onmi-attributes of God, let’s make sure we have a clear grasp of the prefix omni. Omni, in its simplest definition, means “all.” Perhaps you have heard the term when referring to the famous upscale hotel chain, The Omni. The Grove Park Inn, the renowned luxury hotel in Asheville, NC, is part of the Omni Hotel Chain. Or maybe you have heard the term omnivore, referring to the preferred diets of certain animals. Whereas carnivores prefer eating meat, or herbivores mainly consume vegetation, omnivores will eat all types of food.
Now that we have clarified the meaning of omni let’s look at what it means when thinking about God. As we discussed earlier, the Bible describes three fundamental characteristics of God known as the omni-attributes. While these are not the only attributes of God, they are vital for Christians to know and believe. The three attributes are the omniscience, omnipotence, and the omnipresence of God. We will examine these attributes in the next series of articles and see what the Bible teaches about them.
The first attribute I want us to look at is the omniscience of God. The word omniscience comes from the terms omni, meaning all, and science which means knowledge. So, when put together, omniscience (or omniscient) means “all-knowledge.” So, when we say “God is omniscient,” we are saying “God is all-knowing.” This means that God knows everything there is to know in the universe. God never learns anything. That’s quite a statement! In most contexts, that statement would be considered an insult. For God, it’s a compliment.
God knows everything in the past, present, and future. Every thought, every movement, every decision anyone has ever made, God knew it all from the very beginning. The very instant He decreed to create, He knew everything there is to know. Nothing ever catches Him off guard. He understands all causes and effects. Nothing ever escapes His knowledge. Nothing ever surprises Him. It’s kind of mind-blowing when you think about it.
The Bible gives a thorough witness to God’s omniscience. The Apostle Paul was surely amazed at the vastness of God’s knowledge when he proclaimed, “O, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Rom. 11:33). While pleading with the Lord for a child, Hannah confessed, “the Lord is a God of knowledge…” (1 Sam. 2:3). In the midst of suffering, Job rhetorically asks, “Will any teach God knowledge?” (Job 21:22). This question is answered definitively by stating God is “perfect in knowledge” (Job 37:16). The psalmist marveled at God’s knowledge proclaiming, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it” (Ps. 139:6).
What difference does it make?
It should encourage you that God knows you perfectly. You may feel that many people misunderstand you, but rest-assured God does not. He knows everything about you. He knows when you are suffering. He knows when you are feeling alone. He knows when someone has lied about you. He knows when others mistreat you. He knows when they overlooked you. He knows everything about you precisely as it is.
His knowledge of you should also be convicting. God knows every lie you have ever told. He knows every foul thought, every vulgar word, every dark secret, every motive behind what you do. If a background check were done of you, and the database was the mind of God, the rap-sheet would be pretty extensive. It would literally take you an eternity to amend all of your offenses.
God’s omniscience shows us why His grace and forgiveness are so amazing! The idea that a holy and righteous God, Who knows all of your sin, would forgive every item is astounding. Yet, God sent His very Son, Jesus Christ, to live the perfect, sinless life that you could not live, to endure the wrath of God’s holiness and justice that you could not bear so that you could be truly and fully forgiven!
REPENT of your sin—turn away from it, and BELIEVE in the Good News of Jesus Christ!
You have His undivided attention. He knows you best and loves you most!
He is good all the time. And ALL the time, He is GOOD!
For the Truth,