Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The All-surpassing Knowledge of Our Omniscient God

Paul J. Palma - Professor, Regent University Biblical Studies & Christian Ministries

“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7, NLT).

Our God knows the precise number of hairs on your head. According to New World Encyclopedia, the average human head has about 100,000 hair follicles, and each follicle grows about 20 individual hairs over the course of one’s life to compensate for hair loss. That’s about 2 million strands of hair. Multiply that by a world population of 7 billion. That’s a lot of hair and God has the exact count.

Perhaps as staggering is the number of sparrows in the world today. The world’s most common bird, according to Bird Life International, there are over 40 species of sparrows with a total world population estimated in the multiple billions. Again in this case God knows the exact number.

In addition to God’s vast knowledge of the present state of the world, He also has complete knowledge of things past and future. His knowledge is not bound by the human concept of time. The prophet Isaiah took confidence in the surpassing knowledge of God. His knowledge of the future (foreknowledge) set Him apart from the other gods of the ancient world. Chapter 46 tells us that the gods Baal and Nebo of Babylon, whose images were fixed to the beasts of the earth (Isaiah 46:1), stood in no comparison to the God of Israel:

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” (Isaiah 46:9-10, NIV).

The surpassing, exhaustive knowledge of God is the attribute known as omniscience—from the Latin terms omni (all) and scientia (knowledge). God knows all things entirely. He knows every facet, every detail of the present word (even to the precise number) and possesses an equal knowledge of things past and yet to come. There is no limit to the knowledge of God.

God’s omniscience is a consolation for those who belong to the people of God. For Israel it meant God would accomplish His purpose in delivering His chosen people from the hands of the Babylonians. For those who have been made new in Christ, it means God knows us personally and intimately and takes care of our every need. It means God knew everything about you even in the womb, before you were born (Jer. 1:5). He knows your every fear and worry, your innermost thoughts and every desire.   

His personal and intimate knowledge of each one of us means we can trust He will take care of our needs. Indeed, He has a total count of things in the universe that would trump the minds of the greatest scientists and mathematicians. And not only is He aware of our every thought, care, and need, but He promises to meet each one of them. As he ensures that every bird is well fed, how much more will He meet the concerns on your heart today (Matt. 6:26).

The hymn His Eye is on the Sparrow, written by Civilla D. Martin, expresses how God’s all-seeing eye is ever on each one us: 

“Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.”

The Lord looks after each of us, intimately knowledgeable of our ways, from the hairs on our head to our every thought, word, and deed. God’s omniscience means we can take courage. He knows us personally in all our ways, especially in our weaknesses. Despite our inadequacies, though we have fallen short, He loves us even still. Jesus has given us His very Spirit. Never will He leave us and He promises to satisfy our every need:    

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely” (Psalm 139:1-4, NIV).

Copyright © 2016 Paul J. Palma. Used by permission.

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