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Old 02-14-2009, 08:26 PM
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MC1171611 MC1171611 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Western Ohio
Posts: 436

Originally Posted by Bro. Parrish View Post
I guess the omniscience of God was made very clear to me when I first studied Exodus.

God knew what Pharoah would do before Pharoah ever did it. (Exodus 6:1, Exodus 7:2-4, Exodus 9:11-12)

In fact, God has the ability to harden the heart of a man, and to turn it, so God's power goes far beyond just KNOWING men's hearts and the future, God has the power to CHANGE the future and He CONTROLS it. (Prov. 21:1, Psalm 139:1-2, 44:21, I Sam. 16:7, 1 John 3:20)
Forgive me if I get too "far-out" here, but I have a plausible idea how to reconcile God's sovereignty and man's free will.

Obviously, God is in control: I never questioned that. God can direct things and His will will come to pass regardless. However, I find that the same reason Calvinists twist the Bible to say that God chose things to happen a certain way can also be construed to say that while God is obviously in control and knows what will happen, He did not choose those things nor set them in place outside of mans' free will.

Now it's easy to say that outside of our comprehension, God does know everything that has happened and will happen because of His place outside of our existence within time. However, I have another way of looking at things that I hope some will at least find interesting, if perhaps not totally compelling.

Imagine that every decision that a man or woman makes changes their destiny and that of those they interact with. Even a small decision can alter things to an enormous extent, such as the choice to accept Christ, and that person becomes a great evangelist that leads millions to Christ. Now if God knew every possible decision that a person could make in their life, and every effect that would have on everyone else in the world, that would address the idea of man's will versus God's sovereignty.

Now just like with Pharaoh: God was going to make that man harden his heart. If God were to have made him hard and reject, then God would be cruel and potentially unjust (though God cannot sin so it's His decision anyway) in not giving pharaoh the chance to repent. However, knowing human nature, and how everything would effect pharaoh, if God had simply brought about the circumstances that He knew would cause pharaoh to harden his heart, God would not be unjust and pharaoh would still have retained his free will. In this case God's will would have been fulfilled without infringing upon the will of man.

It's a little different, and some might say it sounds like some sort of Eastern Mysticism, but when you think about it, almost every single (if not every) false religion is simply a perversion and corruption of the truth.

I think God is all-knowing, but in a different way than most think. I believe God is all-powerful, but in a manner which many wouldn't imagine. The verse that Stephen supplied would fit well with this explanation: God doesn't just know what will happen, He knows everything that possibly could happen!