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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Part of "All Things" Don't We Understand?

About 2,000 years ago Asaph the psalmist, musician, and choir director was almost at wits end. He had puzzled long and hard to understand why wicked people prospered. Life just didn’t seem fair. He wrestled with a heavyweight question, “Does the Most High have knowledge?” (Psalm 73:11b).

Asaph finally discovered the answer in “the sanctuary of God” (verse 17). Not only did God know the wicked were prospering while His people were suffering, He also knew He would punish the wicked someday. He would destroy the wicked, sweep them away, and “despise them as fantasies” (verses 19, 20).

Maybe you have stood in Asaph’s sandals or you are wearing them right now. You look at unfair personal situations and wonder if God really knows what is going on in your life. If He knew your troubles, wouldn’t He fix them—make them go away?

What Christian hasn’t been tempted to think God doesn’t know everything? Sure, He knows all about the composition of outer space, but does He know all about the bills piling up on my kitchen table? Does He know how badly I am hurting from the loss of my spouse? Does He know my son hasn’t contacted me for weeks? Does He know how lonely I feel? And what about those nagging joint pains that keep me from doing things younger people do so easily? Does He know?

“Open theism,” A new twist to theology (a twisted theology) insists God doesn’t know everything. If correct, this theology can’t put its arms around us when we hurt and assure us God understands and cares. It leaves us quite alone and helpless to see God at work in our dark days.

But the Bible is still the best theology book, and it still teaches us that God is all knowing. Nothing escapes His knowledge, not even that recent utility company’s rate increase or that sudden stiffness of the right knee.

The apostle Peter often put his foot in his mouth, but he spoke wisely in response to Jesus’ third interrogation, “Do you love me?” He responded, “Lord, you know all things” (John 21:17).

Let’s side with Peter in the open theism debate. The Lord does know all things. If we know He knows all things, we can trust Him to use all things for our good and His glory.