It appears as if God does not know how Abraham would respond, but how can this be if God is omniscient or all-knowing? (Genesis 22:12)


Genesis 22:12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."

God is all-knowing. He is omniscient. He knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10; Psa. 139:16). His understanding has no limit (Ps. 147:5; cg. 48:1). No one can fathom his understanding (Isa. 40:28).

The Bible in many places is written from a human teaching perspective, much like in grade school when our teacher may have said something like, "Let's see what 2 plus 2 equals." The class would finally conclude that it equals 4. However, the teacher already knew this - "the end from the beginning."

God knew how Abraham would respond prior to his test designed from all eternity, but after the test Abraham knew how he would respond too. Abraham now knew he feared God. It was his 2+2=4 experience.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).