Does God Know the Future?

by Nancy Taylor and Phil Ryken, adapted by
| Time: 2 Minutes

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.'”
(Isaiah 46:9-10 ESV)

God and the Future

Some days the future seems to be bursting with possibilities. Other days it looks rather bleak and we don’t see how things could possibly work out for good. Fortunately for us, God knows and also controls the future. Nothing comes as a surprise to him, so we can trust him to guide us and keep us safe through the joys and sorrows that lie ahead.

Theologians call this foresight God’s omniscience—his all-knowingness. In Scripture, this attribute of God is inextricably linked with his control over all things. Isaiah 46:9-10 (shown above) makes the connection.

God’s knowledge of the future is tied to his ability to accomplish his future purpose. He is God because of his ability to know everything from eternity past to eternity future. He knows it because he created it and also has power over it.

One of the proofs of God’s future knowledge is fulfilled prophecy. Throughout Scripture, God said that many things would happen, and they did. One scholar estimated that the chances of just eight messianic prophecies being fulfilled in one man are about 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. Yet Jesus fulfilled many more than eight Old Testament prophecies! And there are many other instances in Scripture of God foretelling the future. He said that a baby would be born, and it was, or that a nation would crumble, and it did. There has never been a time when God has made a promise and not followed through, which demonstrates his ability to know and govern the future.

This is good news for us. God’s exhaustive, universal, and infallible knowledge is one of his glorious perfections. Because God knows the future, we do not need to be afraid. Nor do we need to be anxious. God knows what we need before we need it. He is preparing us for the tasks he will give us. He is already lining up the encouragement we will need for the difficulties that lie in our path. He knows the dangers, the traps, the sorrows . . . and he is ready to help us through all of it.

We can joyfully put our full trust in God because he knows all things and can do all things.

This article was adapted from Nancy Taylor and Phil Ryken’s book, Is God Real: Encountering the Almighty.
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