God’s knowledge is different from ours. This led Isaiah the prophet to ask: “Who has understood the mind of the LORD or instructed Him as a counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten Him, and who taught Him the right way?” (Isaiah 40:13-14) Isaiah is asking a rhetorical question which is a question whose answer is so obvious that it doesn’t even have to be stated. In this case, the answer is: No one. No one has ever taught God anything because His knowledge is so great that He needs no advice from anyone. 5 words from the Bible help us understand just how amazing His knowledge is. The first word is:
1. Independent. We humans have learned some amazing things. We have cracked the genetic code, expanded the horizons of technology, and come up with all sorts of creative solutions to age-old problems. But everything we know is built on what others have taught us. God’s knowledge isn’t like that. Whatever there is to know, He knew before the worlds were made. What a comfort that is when we pray! Because so often what’s our worry when we pray? “Am I saying this right and being clear about what I need?” For Romans 8:26 says, “We do not know how to pray as we should.” But then, given the greatness of God’s knowledge, that isn’t a setback. He already knows all about it and needs no one to interpret what we’re saying to Him. All we have to do is pray and He promises to work out the details because His knowledge is not dependent on ours.
2. Intuitive. This means that God not only doesn’t need to learn; He can’t learn. Why? Because He’s all-knowing, and how could an all-knowing God ever take anything into His mind that wasn’t already there? That would mean at some point in the past He was less than God. Romans 11:33 declares, “O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?” You see, when we say something is intuitive, we mean it’s something we know without having to think about it. Up is up, and down is down, and it doesn’t take any effort to figure that out. That’s how God’s mind works. Everything there is to know, He already knows without having to research it, reason it out, or even think about it.
3. Instantaneous. Sometimes you and I walk into rooms, stop, and have to ask ourselves, “What was I looking for when I came in here?” In fact, there are times when I have to go all the way back to where I started just to remember what I was after. Do you ever do that? God never does. God has never hesitated in His thinking. He knows Himself. He knows His creatures. And He knows all that there is to know immediately without having to stop and think about it.
4. Perfect. God’s knowledge includes everything – things present, things past, things future. In fact, His knowledge even includes things that never happened, but could have happened. An example is Matthew 11:21 where Jesus warned the people of His day, “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” In other words, the Lord Jesus not only knows what will happen in the future, He also knows what would have happened in each and every case if we’d made different choices. The devil, of also has great knowledge and takes great pride in it. But his knowledge is all conjectural, based on past experience and observation. For example, do you recall what he said about Job? “Touch his body, God, and take away all that is precious to him, and he will curse you to your face!” But did that happen? No. Why not? Because only God knows us perfectly. Only God knows our hearts.
5. Personal. God knows us. From the highest to the lowest and from the least to the greatest of us, God knows all there is to know about us – not just our actions and our habits, but even the thoughts and motives of our hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” The answer is given in the next verse: “I, the LORD, search the heart; I test the mind, even to give man according to his ways.” Adam and Eve hid from God when they sinned, and so do we at times hoping to escape the shame of what we’ve done. But Hebrews 4:13 reminds us: “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.” He sees us when we’re sleeping. He knows when we’re awake. He knows when we’ve been good or bad. Who? Santa? No, Jesus! Think about that for a moment. Jesus knows everything there is to know about you – the good as well as the bad. And yet, He loves you anyway and invites you to come to Him just as you are!
What an amazing God we serve! He is perfect in knowledge and wisdom, and yet also overflowing with grace and mercy for those of us who love Him. Ponder that great truth today. Tomorrow we will pick up with the second point in this study: God’s knowledge is proven in prophecy. Hope you’ll join us then.