Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

God's Knowledge

"No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account." (Hebrews 4:13)

How do we admire a man who is a little wiser than ourselves! Yet the wisdom of all the human tribes, of all the angelic multitudes—is but folly before God!—in whose infinite knowledge all our thoughts are laid open—and all our conceptions are swallowed up! How divinely glorious is his universal knowledge—which extends to all! Man cannot know or retain every thought that has flowed from his own heart, every word that has dropped from his own mouth—much less those of his neighbors. But it is not so with God. There is not a man on either side the globe—which God does not have his eye on. Every single thought is brought forth in his presence. Every single whisper pours into his ear. Every single work is wrought before him. And all these things are forever with him!

How must the mortal judge examine again and again the criminal, and the witnesses, and yet sometimes be doubtful what sentence to pass! But all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account! He presides over every purpose, guides every step, terminates every action, and governs every individual. What amazing knowledge is this—that not only kingdoms and provinces, in their several revolutions and changes—but people in their particular occurrence and circumstances, are minutely overruled by him!

Now, how many must the actions, the words, and the thoughts be—of so many millions of people, who are at one and the same time acting, speaking, thinking! Yet all are known to God—as clearly and distinctly as if there were only one person in the whole world! Nor is the far greater part or number of people who have departed into the eternal world—some in pleasure, some in pain—less in his knowledge. Neither does his knowledge and concern about the human race diminish his care of the irrational beings—for he feeds the young ravens which cry from the top of the rock; and the lion's cubs which roar from their dens; and kindly makes grass to grow for the gentler inhabitants of the globe. Every insect, which vain man in a manner despises—is both produced and preserved by him, and crawls within his omniscient cognizance! God sees and sends the life-juice through every fibre of the vegetative family—and gives the flowers their rich variety of colors, and plants their various virtues.

He creates the infants which are daily born into the world—to supply the daily loss of those whom he sends them to their eternal home. By him the falling hairs of our heads are numbered. Not a sparrow hops to the ground without his permission. The trees of every forest and every land, are green at his command. Every blade of grass and fragrant flower, every bud and blossom, every seed and root, every fruit and leaf—grows and fades, flourishes and withers—at his command. Heaven and earth are open to him, death and destruction have no covering. The raindrops from the clouds, the dew on the grass, and the billows of the vast ocean—are numbered by his hand!

Now, how perfect must his knowledge be, when all things present are so perfectly known to him, and are still as clearly in his knowledge when past and gone—as when present; as they also were in the same perspicuity known to him from eternity—before ever they existed. Nothing is past or to come in his knowledge; in an unfathomable degree of perfection—all is forever present in his sight.

From the above shallow thoughts of his infinite knowledge, how should I learn to admire God, to walk as always under his eye, and to inscribe on all my ways, "You, O God, see me"; and to rejoice, because he who sees me—disposes of me according to his wisdom!

Moreover, though the heavens and their inhabitants; the world of mankind, dead, alive, or to be born—in all their thoughts, words, and actions; the animal, reptile, and insect creation, in all their motions and changes; trees, plants, flowers, and whatever else exists—were to populate other worlds—and this population continued until infinite space was replenished, and conception overpowered by the tremendous augmentation—yet, even when thoughts, words, actions, were multiplied almost to infinity—still everything would be as clearly, plainly, and distinctly known to him—as if only one angel, one man, one insect, or one atom existed!

Hence, we may understand how infinite his power must be, which is of the same extent with his knowledge—as are all his divine attributes—his holiness, justice, goodness, and truth! And, O believer! what may the joy of your heart be—seeing his love to you is of the same extent and duration!