Saturday, January 9, 2016

Does God Know When I Will Die? part 1


A friend called me earlier this week with a serious question. The people at work had posed a stunning dilemma. "If God knows when we will be born, does He also know when we will die?" That question was followed by another. 

"If our time of death is predetermined, does it matter what we do? Does it matter if we treat medical problems with medication?" 

As a physician, I had to be particularly careful with my answer for fear someone would abandon vital medical care in the mistaken idea that it "didn't matter". 

"Give me a few days to think about it," I suggested. "I'll probably blog about it."

The answer is not as simple as yes or no, so it will take me more than one blog to clarify, but this is my attempt to answer the two-fold question.*

To begin, we need to understand that God is not human, with humanity's limitation. 

Blue Letter Bible lists sixteen attributes of God that include eternality, goodness, grace, holiness, imminence, immutability, justice, love, mercy, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, righteousness, self-existence, sovereignty, and transcendence. 

For our purposes, we will consider only two. Omnipresence and omniscience. 

Omnipresence means that God is everywhere, all at once, with all of Himself. 

He is here with me at the same time that He is there with you at the same time that He is in all places around the world. He is here. Supporting Scripture (in case you want to look them up) include Job 11:7-9, Jeremiah 23:23-24, and my favorite, Psalm 139:7-10. 

David asked the question, "Where can I hide from God?" He, like many of us, knew the agony of total failure and the desire to hide from God rather than face Him with his sin. The answer David found was "nowhere". 

There's nowhere to hide from God. 

No matter what we do, no matter where we go, God is already there. When we do things we hope will never be found out, things that would bring shame were they known, we can be assured that God knows because He is there.

"If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; 
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. 
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotes part of the sea,
Even there Thy hand will lead me,
And Thy right hand will lay hold of me." 
                                                             Psalm 139:8-10 nsb

The attribute of omniscience goes hand in hand with omnipotence. 

Omniscience means that God knows everything and there is nothing that He does not know. 

He knows what we do, the words we say, the thoughts we think. He knows. Neither the good we do, nor the evil in which we indulge is overlooked by God. He knows it all. Supporting Scriptures include Psalm 147:5, Ezekiel 11:5, Romans 11:33, 1 John 3:20, and Hebrews 4:13. The passage in Ezekiel is the one that always gives me pause. 

"...Thus says the Lord,... I know your thoughts..."
                                                  Ezekiel 11:5 nasb

For today, it's enough to remember that we serve an all-knowing, all-seeing, ever-present God. 

We are not alone. We are not overlooked.

For good or ill, our God knows us as we are and loves us anyway. There is great hope in that truth. 

He loves us anyway.

Today, rejoice in the anyway-love of God and know that, no matter what you do, you can never escape the watchful eye of our sweet and loving God. 
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* Tomorrow, we'll tackle the question, "Does God know when I will die?" and "Does how I live make a difference?" The answers may surprise you, so be sure to check back. Hint: We can add days and take them away by our choices. 

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#lifeanddeath #doesGodknow #disciple #Christian