Early this morning I checked AccuWeather’s web page to see what the outlook was for today. The page listed that snow was to begin in our area in 100 minutes. Well, more than 100 minutes has transpired and the snow has not yet begun. So before composing this THOUGHT, I checked once again to get an updated forecast. While snow is still in the forecast, no longer are they predicting any time frame. It is just a reminder to me that man, no matter how intelligent he may think that he is, is still incapable of predicting the future with perfect accuracy. Any prediction of any future event must be conditional because there are always a number of factors that can change the course of history. Consequently we must say that any prediction of a future event depends upon “whether or not” other events occur.
Such is not the case with God. The Bible speaks of God as being omniscient. The omniscience of God can be defined as knowing all things, both actual and possible, in one act of knowing. “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5) and “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:10) are two passages of Scripture that are commonly used as proofs of God’s omniscience. Consequently, when the Bible speaks prophetically, it is not necessary for it to use the “whether or not” language.
One of the prophetic statements that constantly causes me to be in awe of God is found in Daniel 9:25, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks…” The prophecy details the amount of time beginning with the issuance of a proclamation to rebuild Jerusalem until the day Israel’s Messiah would present Himself to the nation. The word that is translated “weeks” is the Hebrew word shabuwa literally meaning “a period of seven.” The period of time can be days, weeks, months or years. In this case it is years. The prophecy states that 69 periods of 7 years, or 483 years will transpire between the proclamation and the presentation of the Messiah. History records the date of the proclamation (March 14, 445 BC) as well as the date of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (April 6, 32 AD). The difference here is only 476 years and seemingly does not fit. However, the Jewish calendar is lunar based and only has 360 days in a year rather than our 365 day-long years. 483 years times 360 days/year equals 173,880 days. From March 14, 445 BC to March 13, 32 AD would be 476 years times 365 days/year or 173,740 days plus 116 days for each leap year in that time frame plus 24 days from March 14th to April 6th inclusively, and the total is 173,880 days. The prophecy was fulfilled to the very day!
There is a theological thought that has gained some attention recently that seeks to reduce the omniscience of God to only a possible understanding of what the future holds. It is generally known as Open Theism and is built upon the premise that if man was given a truly free will, then the future is uncertain until man decides whether or not he will do something. Those who believe in Open Theism conclude that if God knows the future, then God must determine the future, and therefore man does not have a truly free will. To illustrate the error of this thinking, some time ago I asked a man in the congregation to stand up as I was preaching. He did. On the PowerPoint presentation I had a slide that simply said, “I knew he would stand up!” Everyone laughed. I asked him if I had predetermined with him to stand up, to which he said “No.” I then thanked him for helping to illustrate my point and told him he could sit down. He did, and the then I showed the slide that said, “I knew he would sit down!”
God is omniscient and out of that infinite knowledge He makes perfectly wise decisions, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). He knows your future. The only question concerning our wisdom then is whether or not we will believe Him.