Tag: Omniscience

Did Something Never Enter into God’s Mind Before it Happened? (Jer 7:31; 19:5; 32:35)

And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.
(Jer 7:31)

(they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind),
(Jer 19:5)

And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.’
(Jer 32:35)

Above are three examples where God is recorded as saying either, “nor did it come into My heart” or “nor did it come into My mind”. The question that immediately arises is – what did God mean when He said these things? If you approach these texts with an open theist posture you might be inclined to say that God was saying that He hadn’t even conceived the possibility of these things happening. That could be your explanation of the phrase, “nor did it come into My mind”; a kind of equivalent of God saying, “The things that these people are doing… I hadn’t even imagined this sort of thing happening. It’s not only outlandish, it’s unexpected.”

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Did God Not Know Which Signs the Egyptians Would Believe? (Ex 4:6-9)

Furthermore the Lord said to him, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. And He said, “Put your hand in your bosom again.” So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh. “Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign. And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.” (Ex 4:6-9)


The controversy behind this passage is found in verses eight and nine. The argument is: God told Moses what to do if Pharaoh and the Egyptians did not believe the first two signs; thus, since God didn’t tell Moses what to do, but only how to respond to however the Egyptians reacted, it must mean that God did not know what their response would be.

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Did God Not Know that Abraham Feared Him? (Gen 22:12)

12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (Gen 22:12)


The context for this verse is a familiar one. God had called Abraham to take his son Isaac to the land of Moriah and sacrifice him on one of the mountains there (Gen 22: 2). This was a test for Abraham (vs.1). Abraham had waited many years for his son, the son that was the child of promise (see Heb 11:17-18), and now God tested him by telling him to give up that son as a burnt offering. As the narrative unfolds, God would not have Abraham go through with the sacrifice. Though God would be so gracious as to offer up His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn 3:16), He would never have any human being offer their son or daughter as a sacrifice. Nonetheless, Abraham was willing to do what God had asked. According to the writer of Hebrews it appears that Abraham reckoned that God could, and would, raise Isaac from the dead to fulfill the promises that He had made (Gen 22:5; Heb 11:19).

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Did God Regret that He Made Man? (Genesis 6:6-7)

“And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Gen 6:6, 7)


Here are two of the primary verses that open theists use to assert that God does not know the future, independent choices or decisions of men. The rationale goes something like this: If God was sorry that He made man upon the face of the earth then He clearly did not see the event coming for which He was sorry. After all, why would He say He was sorry about something He knew was going to happen, and something that was the result of His doing?

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How does God Regret? (1 Sam 15:11, 29)

10 Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 11 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night. (1 Sam 15:10-11)

What is meant here when God says that He regretted making Saul king? Some infer that in light of this verse and others like it that God doesn’t know the future. According to them God wanted the best for Saul and He did all He could to set him up for success without knowing what choices Saul would or wouldn’t make in the future. To the open theist, Saul’s disobedience caused God regret because if He only knew the choices that Saul was going to make He wouldn’t have made Saul king. The result being – God, then, regretted His own lack of foresight.

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