Can God really see the future? Millions of people, religious and non-religious alike have asked this controversial question at a certain point in time. Anyone can wonder if the Supreme Being worshipped by billions of people on earth is really omniscient (all-knowing) as the holy books mentioned countlessly. Here, we will try to look deeper into the topic and hopefully provide some clarification.
Christianity is the religion with the highest followers in the world.
In the whole world, they are more than one billion Christians in total, Accumulated from different demographics in each continent. Their religious body is usually summed up as the ‘act of love, or more broadly an act of self-sacrifice and purity.
This post is not to question the overall power of the Christian deity YHWH, but only to elaborate using some of the passages present in the scriptures as a reference to deliberate on the issue of God’s ability to foretell the future.
Now the bible is the holy book of God, and written in its pages are a combination of God’s own words, stories told, and recorded historical events that are said to have occurred in the past.
Here we would be looking at events in the bible, and further interpret God’s reaction and response towards it. These points can be used to distinguish if God knew the outcome of the event or if he, in fact, did not. For an outcome of an event in the present to be known or anticipated, then one has to have the power to predict, or more strongly see the future.
ADAM AND EVE BETRAYAL
The most famous event in the bible, marking the beginning of man’s sin is the betrayal of the first human’s God himself created. Adam and Eve were supposedly the first male and female created in the Garden of Eden. They were his prized creation as they were the only organism in the whole garden that was created in God’s own image.
Adam and Eve ended up betraying the only rule they were given, “do not eat from the tree of knowledge”. When they disobeyed this rule, God punished them severely and they began to know sin and suffering.
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God has the power of seeing the future, supporting the idea that he must have known that his prized creation would surely betray him in the Garden of Eden. He knew in all details that the snake was going to tempt Eve, she would fall for its temptation and would convince Adam to follow.
However, the further verses included in the scripture indicates that God was not aware that there had eaten the fruit.
Genesis 3:11 – God said, “Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”
From the verse, it’s safe to deduce that God was not aware of their actions at the time of his arrival and was unaware to the fact that they had consumed from the tree of Knowledge. He was disappointed that his creations had disobeyed his commandment and he punished them indefinitely for it.
GOD REGRETTING HIS OWN ACTIONS
There have been a few times in the bible that God had taken a certain action and stated himself that he regretted that action. If we identify the following scriptures, God himself admitted being unhappy with the results and wished he had not done it in the first place.
Samuel 15:11 – “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not carried out my commands”
This clearly stated that God was not happy at the result of Saul’s ignorance: If he had knew, he would not have given Saul the title of King. If God knew that Saul would disappoint him in the future, would he have responded like that? Did he not know Saul would go astray?
Genesis 6:6 “The lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and he was grieved in his heart”.
ABRAHAM SACRIFICING HIS SON ISAAC
The binding of Isaac is yet another case to be looked into. God commanded a man to burn his only son to death to offer as burnt offering.
Genesis 22:2 – “Take your son, your only son whom you love (Isaac) and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you”.
22:10 – “then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11- The angel of the lord called out to him from Heaven “Abraham! Abraham! An angel called out. 12- Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now that I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son,” he said.
This was the lord’s way of testing the loyalty of his servant, Isaac. His decision to go ahead with the sacrifice proved to God that he would obey every single command from God, even if it means Killing and burning his only son to offer.
If God knows all and can see the future, then was it necessary to test Isaac in the first place? If he could see the outcome of the test, then what was the essence of testing him to assure himself of Saul’s Loyalty?
However, in verse 12 and 13, it shows that God was assured by the decision he choose. Is it safe to say that God did not know the outcome? That he had to test Isaac to know if he was loyal or not?
HOWEVER, there are scriptures in the bible that says otherwise. It is clearly stated in various verses in the bible that God is Omniscient (knows all). These verses in the scriptures shows that God knows everything that happens, before it happens. This includes all events and occurrence.
GOD DEMANDED A SHOWCASE OF POWER
God’s foreknowledge of the future is believed significant since it is a basis of prophecy and a basic part of his character. God declares in Isaiah 41 that he alone is in charge of global events (41:1–20).
However, because the gods of the nations claimed the same thing, evidence was required. As a result, “the King of Jacob,” as God refers to himself in this verse, puts the gods of the other countries to a test: forecast an occurrence and then announce the result.
“Set forth your case, says the Lord; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified” (Isaiah 41:21–23).
God uses prophecy again in the New Testament for this same reason, to prove that he is who he says he is.
THE BETRAYAL OF JUDAS
In John 13:19 Jesus prophesied his betrayal to his disciples: “I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.”
Jesus in this passage correctly predicted (Prophesized) the case of his disciple’s betrayal, which later occurred. This reflects the original belief of the power of knowing the future before it occurs.
1 John 3:20 – “God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”
Matthew 6:8 – “your father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Psalm 139:4 – “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether”.
Countless verses in the scripture also deliver the same message given above.
What do you think? Do you think God gets new experiences and see time pass the same as us? Or God in his great knowledge knows all and we cannot comprehend his plan and actions as mere human beings?
(NOTE: This is not a hate or anti-religious post. This is trying to look into the perspective that God might not be omniscient using the scriptures as reference. This is a valid discussion about the proposed topic.)
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