Tim: Though God is generally described as all-knowing – does He always choose to know how things will turn out? I sometimes compare the concept to a person reading a book – one can turn the last page and see how things wrap up – but do you want to? Did/does God choose to wait to see how humans will respond sometimes – instead of just instantly knowing the future? Will Adam and Eve sin – will Moses strike the rock – will Lot’s wife turn back to look, will Judas betray Jesus …?

Dave: Thanks for your question about God, time, and His awareness of time. Time is weird, but the Scriptures do give us some glimpses into your questions. I am not sure if I view heaven as being timeless. The Bible speaks of God setting certain things to happen at pre-ordained times, for example, the first coming of Christ, the torment of demons, the Second Coming of Christ, and the Final Judgment. all those dates the Father has chosen, and they were (are) locked in. We also find in Scripture that sometimes God delays His original plan, for example, Hezekiah’s death was delayed 15 years and God was prepared to destroy Israelites several times, but Moses persuaded Him to postpone.

I believe God knows all the future because He, unlike us, is not bound by time. Scripture says that a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day to Him. But I’ve always maintained that just because He sees the future, He does not necessarily CAUSE all the events in that future. I believe it is similar to a human foreseeing the future but does not make whatever happen. God certainly has intervened many times on mankind’s behalf throughout all of history, so He definitely MAKES some things happen, but I do not think all things are forced upon us.

God knew that Adam and Eve would die if they sinned, but I do not view God making them die. Rather, I see it as a natural progression much like a tumbling “domino effect.” Once that first domino goes over, the rest will follow. Could God intervene and stop it? Yes, but that would hurt us in the long run (see parable from Matthew 13:29). God sees the need to have a sinful world play itself out to its end which is a fixed time. Why does it need to play out? Probably to prepare His Bride (all believers from history) and to maximize the quality of the Eternal Kingdom. I think of an unsaved soul living a typical self-centered life. That soul needed to experience sin and its effects before he/she could “see the Light.” If God presented Himself prematurely to us, we may not have been able to repent and take in Jesus to our souls. The old saying is right – “Timing is everything!”

Yes, I believe God knew that Adam and Eve would sin. There is no hint that anything has ever taken Him by surprise. Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith. but the Son of Man was God limiting Himself to time and space. Back in Genesis, God had the temporary remedy prepared quite quickly – an innocent animal was slain and its skin covered human nakedness (sin). It was a foretaste of His Final Solution performed by Christ on the Cross where innocent blood was once again shed. Mankind quickly learned that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22). But Jesus’ Blood has much more power than animal blood, obviously.

Yes, He knew that Judas would betray Jesus because it was prophesied in the Old Testament (Zechariah 11:12-13; Psalms 109:8; and Psalm 41:9). These were verified by the New Testament writers. Again, I don’t think that God made Judas do it, but He did know it would happen.

So even though God knows all, I think we, as a fallen race, need to experience life and see it played out before our eyes in order to seek (grope) for the Truth and find it before we perish. In Acts 17: 26-27 reveals much on this issue – “…and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.”

Your question on whether or not God chooses to know certain things is a tough one. Scripture tells us He chooses to forget our sins. I’m not sure if this is to be interpreted literally or figuratively. If the latter, it simply means that He will never hold anything against us or remind us of what we were like in the sinful state. This makes me wonder if we will remember. Isaiah 25:8 says that God will remove our reproach, so my guess is that we might remember but no longer have the shame connected with it. All our tears will be wiped away!

We do know from Scripture that the angels do not see ahead like God does (1 Peter1:12). I’ve pictured angels as excited and loving servants. Excited because they know how good everything will turn out, they just don’t know how God will accomplish it. They are loving because they did not follow Lucifer’s rebellion. Just my opinion on this part.

Well, I hope I’ve covered all your issues within this topic.