Knowing God

Before a person becomes desirous of fleeing to Christ for refuge he must be aware of his sinfulness and the gravity of his situation before God.

Coming to know about God’s absolute knowledge is a humbling experience and puts us upon serious consideration. God’s knowledge will speak terrible things to unrepentant sinners. He sees all the actions and thoughts of men; He knows all their person (Job 11:11). “He knows vain men, he sees wickedness also” (Job 34:21). He hears private whispers (Psalms 139:4).

How much better would it be for desperate sinners to have their crimes known and acknowledged before their Sovereign, whose laws they have violated, and to their Judge, whose righteousness obliges Him to take vengeance.

The sinner has a very poor refuge in keeping his sins secret to Himself. They are not secret; God knows them. Adam thought to flee and hide from God, but God found him out. Our most secret sins are set in the light of His countenance (Psalms 90:8), and all are legible to Him.

Christ made it plain to the Samaritan woman that He knew about her adulteries, even though she might have thought otherwise (John 4:16). It is vanity to think that we can conceal ourselves from God.

If the unconverted happen to be religious, presenting God’s knowledge to them will tear away their hypocrisies. An infinite understanding does not judge according to shadows, but according to truth: “He judges not according to appearance” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Again, if the unconverted claims to be a reformed person, having changed his life, it will be pointed out to him that God does not forget his sinful past. It is a senseless thing to be careless about sins committed long ago (Hosea 13:12). “The Lord hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works” (Amos 8:7).

So, in applying the rigours of the Law to the lost, I would also point out that the Law-giver is fully aware of their performance and their failure to keep it. By God’s grace such an approach might lead the person to seriously consider his miserable condition, and thus find the invitation for cleansing very appealing to him.

The knowledge of God applied

1. Especially believers, who know God, are to be careful not to intrude or invade this glorious attribute of God’s knowledge by invoking any creature in their worship and prayer. Praying to saints is a disparagement of this divine excellency, for nobody except God knows the petitions and heart-crying of His own.

It is against reason for us to address our supplications to them that neither understand us nor discern our will (Isaiah 63:16).

2. Let us also be careful lest we become unduly curious especially about future things, which are hid in God’s counsel. If God has not informed us in Holy Scripture, we ought to respect His knowledge, and what it pleased Him to instruct us and what not.

It is God’s prerogative to keep many things secret to Himself. “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but revealed things belong to us and our children” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

All curious and bold inquiries into things not revealed are an attempt upon the throne of God.

3. This attribute is injured by swearing by creatures or objects.

Swearing by the name of God, in a righteous cause, when we are called to it by a superior power, is an act of religion, and a part of worship. But to swear by any creature is blasphemous; it sets the creature in the place of God, and invests it in that which is the peculiar honour of the Divinity.

4. Let us also beware of sinning against the knowledge of God when we censure the hearts of others, which only God knows. God is the One before whom a person stands of falls; we ought not to be judgmental and censorious (Romans 14:4).

Always keep in mind: “He that judgeth me is the Lord; therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will make manifest the counsels of all hearts” (1 Corinthians 4:5).

5. We ought not to pray in such a way thinking that we are informing God, for He knows beforehand all our needs.

Rather our prayer is to acknowledge this admirable perfection of the divine nature (Matthew 6:32,33; 7:11). Prayer was not appointed for God’s information, but for the expression of our desires.

6. God’s knowledge is wronged by a practical denial of it. “They say, the Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord sees not” (Ezekiel 9:9).

7. Partial confessions before God also obscure His knowledge. A full confession honours God for it implicitly acknowledges that God knows all (Joshua 7:19).

To excuse or shift the blame of sin on someone else is to deny God the knowledge of the depths of our deceitful hearts.

8. God’s knowledge will keep us from a hypocritical worship of Him who searches the hearts and reins of men. God despises feigned lips (Psalms 17:1).

When you attend church, God knows your condition. If sin is hid, confess it and approach Him transparently.