Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “The proper study of God’s elect is God.” That was why Paul closed Romans 11 with a praise chorus, reminding us of several attributes of God that deserve our deepest devotion and our highest praise.
In this chorus, Paul said we ought to praise God for His knowledge. Romans 11:33 says, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” I read somewhere that man’s knowledge doubles every three to five years. But God’s knowledge never increases. God has never learned anything from anyone. You cannot tell God anything He does not already know. His knowledge is complete. He knows everything that happens in the universe. He knows every tragedy that comes into your life before it happens. He knows every action you commit before the thought to commit it even enters your mind. God’s knowledge is unsurpassed.
How should we respond to God’s complete knowledge? Bible commentator James Boice suggested three effects of God’s knowledge. First, God’s unsurpassed knowledge should humble us. Do you remember the story of Job? Job was a righteous man who feared God. Then one day he lost his children, his possessions, and even his health. He asked God, Why? Finally, God replied to Job. He said, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:2-4). On and on God went, talking about His unsurpassed knowledge. When God finished, Job said, “I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (42:3).
Second, the fact that God knows everything about us–the good, the bad, and the ugly–and He loves us anyway, ought to comfort to us. And it also ought to comfort us to know that God knows everything that is happening to us. Nothing takes Him by surprise.
Third, God’s unsurpassed knowledge should motivate us to godliness. In Psalm 139:1-4, David wrote, “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all.” God knows everything in your heart. He knows what you are planning to do before the thought ever enters your mind to do it. So instead of trying to hide from God, instead of trying to run away from God, instead of trying to rationalize your sin before God–why not agree with what He says about your sin and allow His complete knowledge of you to motivate you to start living for Him? God’s unsurpassed knowledge should motivate us to godliness. Paul praised God for His unsurpassed knowledge.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Paul’s Praise Chorus” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.