What God Knows 

 A recent discussion that I was engaged in this weekend got me to thinking about the fact that there are a number of category errors that occur when we engage in a discussion about God’s knowledge. 
We (Christians) speak of God as being omniscient, that God knows all things. Of course one aspect of that knowledge, from a reformed perspective is God’s knowledge contains his decrees, that is that God has full knowledge of what he has commanded, as the sovereign, will come to pass. We can say that knowledge includes acts of evil because evil is not absolute as well as acts of kindness and charity. It’s not that God gleefully permits evil, moral evil, but that in creating creatures that have a measure of moral freedom and capacity, that those creatures can conceive of and act in evil manners. This, of course, does not mean that God endorses or approves of it, but his knowledge includes both the possible and real knowledge of such. We must therefore conclude that God also knows that goodness and evil can only be true and meaningful if it is freely engaged in. 
It bothers many that God knows that evil is going to occur and it seems that God, being good, refuses to intervene, but such ignores the evil that we conjure up in our own imaginations but never act out. What if God is restraining the amount of evil that all would do, only allowing instances to slip through in order to demonstrate to us just how wicked man truly is? 
We must also consider that God has made revelation, not only of himself, but also how man should behave towards one another. The fact that men (using the term inclusively) choose to live not only in opposition to it, but even goes so far as to suppress that knowledge by banning and burning and berating what He has made known, just so that they can engage in all manner of evil should tell us something.
All that being said, how should we understand God’s knowledge?
Well, there is His foreknowledge. God knows all things both real and possible. This knowledge is active, it is something God does. He’s not taking in knowledge, nor is he simply an observer of events. God is an active participant in history, working out his will with a deft and precise hand. God knows events that will occur because he has set them in motion and can direct them both passively and actively. This doesn’t mean that man is a puppet, rather that man is either working with God or working against Him. Those who are working against him will fail because God cannot fail. (See Psalm 33:8-11, Isaiah 8:10, Job 5:12)
God’s knowledge is based in his predestining of his interactions with his creation. God knows because of how he has chosen to interact with us. More than that, God knows that man cannot believe (trust) without him making the first move, therefore God has to renew the spirit of man by giving him a new Spirit, namely his own. And the only way that Spirit could reside in man is by the atonement of Christ, through his shed blood. 

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