"Omni," Says It All Lamentations 3:38-39
The word “Omni” means “all; of all things; in all ways or places.” Three words, in reference to God, define His ability in relation to knowledge, power, and authority, and presence: omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
He is all-knowing: He knows and understands everything. His wisdom is comprehensive. Human ingenuity or “genius” is but a fraction of His.
He is all-powerful: His strength is unmatched; His capabilities unlimited; His authority is infinite. His capabilities are limitless!
He is all-seeing: He can observe everything and everyone.[i] Nothing can be done that He does not see. Everything is present before Him.
37 Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, Unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill go forth?
39 Why should any living mortal, or any man, Offer complaint in view of his sins?
7 The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.
Many Christians and, I would say, all unbelievers to some degree, don’t like reading passages like these. A Creator God of love would not allow ill (bad) things to happen to people; “He certainly is not the source of calamity. He could not be the influence behind the great conflicts of world history.” And no one could imagine a God who would intentionally devastate His own people. Seemingly, He Who cannot sin is judged by those who cannot keep from sinning. He who is the One capable of administering justice is mocked by those who are only capable of injustice. He Who is the source of righteousness or decency is dismissed by those who glory in self and indecency. Basically, those who know very little, are powerless and frail; they possess limited awareness to question and dismiss the Lord God, Who is the only person who can save any of us from our destructive pride and ignorance.
Within the chaos of human arrogance and self-destructiveness, (i.e., death), there is a loving, just, and righteous God who has set in motion a plan to save a people (Israel and the Church) from among the masses. He didn’t have to develop this plan of salvation (for the preservation of human life). He could have left Adam and his progeny to their fate and then started again after their inevitable self-demise. He could have destroyed Adam and Eve and created human robots who would obey Him without choice or awareness of their own existence or His. Thankfully, He determined to create a people of faith whose love for one another would reflect His love for them.
Only an all-knowing (omniscient), all-powerful (omnipotent), and totally aware (omnipresent) God can accomplish such a feat. He must develop a perfect plan (knowledge, understanding, and wisdom), have the ability to set the plan in motion and keep it functioning over the centuries, the millenniums (capabilities, power, authority), and He has to be aware of all the threats that can undo the plan (infinite awareness). To do this, God must be and is wholly aware of the self-righteous and evil intentions of sinful human beings, put limits on those intentions, and protect His plan to draw human beings throughout history into His arms, all of whom will be kept in His grace by the life and death of Israel’s Messiah, the Church’s Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have no doubt about it: The Lord does not sin! He is aware of wickedness; He oversees the wickedness of people to bring about His righteous ends; out of wickedness is born the salvation of those who will be His children. Thank you, Lord! While the world rips itself apart, God is closely watching, overseeing, and sometimes directing/controlling the natural/innate sinful behaviors of the godless for the sake of those who will become His own beloved sons and daughters. In this way, the love and goodness of God will ultimately defeat the wickedness of man.
The context of the Lamentations passage above is the final destruction of Jerusalem by the King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon from 588-586 BC. By the time the destruction ended, a third of the Jewish unfaithful were taken to Egypt, another third would be taken captive to Babylon, and the remaining third died under horrible conditions in and around the besieged city of Jerusalem. The rebellious Israelites were forsaking God’s plan of salvation, putting at stake the salvation of millions. God acted. In fact, they had become so disobedient and wicked that “the Lord caused to be forgotten the appointed feast and sabbath in Zion” (Lam. 2:6b; see also 1:5-9a). Who are we, the sinful, to question, criticize, or judge the acts of a sinless God who keeps His promises (Lam. 3:39)?
Omni says it all. He is everything: omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnipresent (all-seeing); we are nothing! Yet with Him, we have a genuine purpose and direction that is rich in blessing and a moral confidence that guides us in this life into the next. I love the Lord because He loves me! Through Him, I can and have received humanity’s wrath or rejection, but in Christ crucified, buried and raised, I escape the Lord’s wrath.
[i] It is not accurate to say that He is everywhere present. Rather everything is present to Him, hence all-seeing. This article is the property of ChristianBoast.com.