2 Kings 23
One of the things about God that confounds me is how He can know the future yet leave us free to make choices. This is a subject I’ve gone back and forth on in the past, and I still don’t feel "settled" into a position (and I may never). On the one hand, it is very clear that God knows specific details about the future, including people and events. On the other hand, the Bible is also clear that God gives us freedom to make choices, and I sympathize with people who argue that if a choice is made freely, how can it be known ahead of time?
This is why I like to dabble in the study of Time and how it is related to Space and Light. Granted, I can’t study that for very long before my brain starts hurting and I have to stop, but my curiosity won’t let me abandon the subject altogether. How is God—who is beyond Time—related to the sort of time we experience here on Earth? We live in linear time, but it’s clear that God does not. Our concept of time is fixed to the movement of universal bodies—the Earth around the Sun, the Moon around the Earth, etc. But God is above and beyond all of this.
In this chapter, for instance, is a stunning example of God’s knowledge of the future. Did you take note of everything King Josiah did to the false altars and places of worship around Judah? He single-handedly demolished idol worship in Jerusalem—including that pesky altar at Bethel that had been set up by Jeroboam.
It’s amazing that a King of Judah finally got rid of that altar. And what’s even more amazing? That’s exactly what God said was going to happen to the altar 300 years before. "By the word of the Lord a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. By the word of the Lord he cried out against the altar: 'Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: "A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you."'" (1 Kgs 13:1-2)
Whoa. More than three centuries earlier, God had predicted not only that the altar would be destroyed, but exactly who would do it. He knew all about Josiah long before Josiah’s father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, or great-great-great-grandfather were on the scene! To put that in perspective, it would be like God announcing that Ken and Joyce Wilson were going to have a baby girl named Kelley, born in the fall of 1977 in Long Beach, California, USA... shortly after the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock, long before there was a Long Beach, a California, or a United States of America!
It never ceases to amaze me that God knows everything. You can be sure of this: He is never surprised by anything. He is never caught off guard. Whatever is taking place in your life right now, He knew about it long before you did. You can rest and relax, trusting in the One who knows you so intimately and cares for you so deeply!