Joshua 6 describes the unfolding destruction of the city of Jericho. Israel were given strict instructions not to take any of the loot for themselves. In the ancient world, when an army captured a city the spoils were divided among those who did the fighting. By not allowing Israel to indulge themselves the Lord was making it clear who was to receive the credit for the defeat of Jericho. In Joshua 7 Achan rebelled against the Lord and took some silver and gold and a beautiful robe and hid them under his tent. He thought that no one had seen. He ignored one important fact – God sees all things and knows all things.
When it comes to God’s omniscience we mean:
- God knows everything there is to know. In Psalm 139:1-4 we read, O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. If you go out into the country where there is no light pollution it feels as if we can see millions of stars but in actual fact we can only see about 9000 stars with the naked eye. Astronomers run out of names for these 9000 visible stars and settle for names like SAO – 067173. There are however 3 septillion stars in the universe (that is a 3 followed by twenty four zeroes). To give you some idea as to how huge that number is, one million seconds takes you back 11 days, one billion seconds takes you back 31 years and 8 months and one trillion (1 followed by only 12 zeroes) seconds would take you back to 29672BC. We are still only halfway to a septillion. In Isaiah 40:25, 26 we are told, to whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. God can give names to each of those 3 septillion stars.
- God knows everything has not yet happened. In Isaiah 46:10 God tells us, I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. In 1 Kings 13:2 we are told three hundred years before it happened that a son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. In Isaiah 44:28-45:1 we are told over 150 years before it happened that God would raise up a man called Cyrus who would be instrumental in allowing Israelites to return to Jerusalem after the exile. This is not only true for certain people in the bible, but it is just as true for us as well. In Psalm 139:16 we read all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How should we respond to such a truth? In Psalm 139:6 David says, such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.