Thursday, July 05, 2012

God's knowledge

In every instance where God has decreed an end, He has also decreed every means to that end. The One who decreed the salvation of His elect also decreed to work faith in them (2 Thess. 2:13). "My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure" (Is. 46:10) : but that could not be, if His counsel depended upon a condition which not be performed. But God "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." (Eph. 1:11)
It has been often pointed out in the past that every objection made against the eternal decrees of God applies with equal force against His eternal foreknowledge. 
"Now it is self-evident that if He knows all things beforehand, He either doth approve of them or doth not approve of them; that is, He either is willing they should be or He is not willing they should be.  But to will that they should be is to decree them." ~Jonathan Edwards
*the above paragraphs are quoted from The Attributes of God, by Arthur W. Pink

Shane and I have been discussing the source of God's knowledge and he was explaining the doctrine of the aseity of God which is the attribute that describes the eternal, self-sustaining, self-sufficiency of God.

The word aseity, meaning that he has life in himself and draws his unending energy from Himself (a se in Latin means "from himself"), was coined by theologians to express this truth, which the Bible makes clear. ~Monergism

Since God depends on no part of His creation for his existence and sustenance, then too His knowledge of all things comes from no other source than Himself. No being or event informs God.  He is the originator of all knowledge.
Isaiah asks:
Who has understood the mind* of the LORD, or instructed Him as His counselor?
Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten Him, and who taught Him the right way?
Who was it that taught Him knowledge or showed Him the path of understanding? ~Is. 40:13,14    (* or Spirit)
The obvious answer is No one.  God is the source of all knowledge. He learns nothing.  Therefore, His knowledge of all things is because He is self-sufficient, independent from His creation and the source of all things. 
Before a word is on my tongue
You know it completely, O LORD. ~Ps. 139:4 

To man belong the plans of the heart,
but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue. ~Prov. 16:1

Who can speak and have it happen
if the LORD has not decreed it? ~Lam.3:37

To deny the Divine decrees would be to predicate a world and all its concerns regulated by undesigned chance or blind fate.  Then what peace, what assurance, what comfort would there be for our poor hearts and minds? What refuge would there be to fly to in the hour of need and trial?  None at all. There would be nothing better than the black darkness and abject horror of atheism. O my reader, how thankful should we be that everything is determined by infinite wisdom and goodness! What praise and gratitude are due unto God for His Divine decrees. It is because of them that "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose"(Rom. 8:28). Well may we exclaim, "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen" (Rom. 11:36). (ibid)

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