Beauty in Omniscience (Isaiah 46:9-10)

Isaiah 46:9-10

9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’

In some Christian circles, there is a debate raging over a topic which some call “Open Theism.” In simplest terms, Open Theism is the belief that God does not know the future completely. Open theists have chosen to believe that God would not or could not actually know the future decisions of his free creatures, because such knowledge would actually limit the freedom of those creatures. These generally liberal theologians developed such a view in order to explain the problem of evil in the world, somehow finding comfort in a belief that God does not stop evil because he does not know for sure what evil people will do.

Besides being a view that dishonors God, elevates man and his freedom to a far too high position, and lacks the capacity to offer the comfort it is supposed to offer, the teaching of Open Theism is simply unbiblical; and we see that in Isaiah 46. Look at how our God describes himself. In verse 9, he tells us that there is no one like him. There has never been anyone who has the kind of knowledge that he is about to claim. One reason that open theists may have trouble imagining that God knows the future could simply be that there is no one other than God who truly can know the future.

Then, in verse 10, God tells us that he declares the end from the beginning. From ancient times, God declared things that have not yet been accomplished, but which will be accomplished. Without question, God intends to communicate to us in these verses that he knows the future from beginning to end, and this knowledge is one of the things that sets him apart from all other beings.

Thinking for a moment about the fact that God’s knowledge sets him apart from all other beings, we should apply proper terminology to this thought. To be set apart from all others, to be stronger, higher, better, and more perfect than others is to be holy. God is the strongest of the strong and the wisest of the wise. He is the only one with knowledge like his. He is the only one who can declare the end from the beginning. He is the only one who is totally set apart from others in every way. He is holy. And, thus, to attack God’s foreknowledge is to attack God’s holiness. Such an attack is something no man ought try, because God jealously guards the glory of his name and the glory of his holiness.

Besides seeing the theological issues at stake with the false view of Open Theism, today, let us also see the glorious comfort available to us in a proper, biblical view of God’s perfect foreknowledge. Our God knows everything. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows exactly who you are, who you have been, and who you will become. He can map your life from this very moment through the end of eternity, because he knows everything, including your future free decisions. He knows even what eternity would look like if you chose differently. He knows it all. Because of that knowledge, he can easily work in your life and mine to accomplish the eternity that he intends to accomplish. He can work all things, even the ugly things of life, together for ultimate good, because he knows every step that will take place in the process. God’s knowledge is incredibly comforting, and is one of the reasons we worship God. His perfect knowledge is part of what makes him holy, and we ought find comfort, awe, and reason to worship in that great knowledge of God.

Dear Lord, you are truly amazing and holy. There is no other like you. There is no person and no being of any sort who can declare the end from the beginning except for you. You are holy, totally set apart and superior to all others. I thank you that your knowledge is perfect. I thank you that you know what I will do today, and what I will choose in years to come. I pray that you will use that knowledge of the future to work all things together for good. I pray that you will use that knowledge to work my life into something that matters, a life that brings honor and glory to your name. Please use your great knowledge to order my steps in such a way that will bring maximum glory to your name.