God is Omni-
Theologians have a fascination with making new words to describe God’s character and attributes. There are three such words that have the Latin prefix Omni-, which simply means “all”. I have used one in a scripture reference this week and talked about another briefly. These are Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient. Let’s look at the obvious one first.
Omnipotent is a word that I very easily and accurately could have substituted or added to my “I is for…” list when I was for Almighty or “El”, the Supreme God. In fact, some translations of the Revelation 19 passage I quoted read “Alleluia! For the Lord God Almighty reigns!” Often, the Hebrew word is translated “Lord of Hosts”. It appears 9 times in Revelation and numerous times in the Old Testament.
Revelation 1:8 speaks of God’s Omnipotence and pre-eminence, His Omnipresence. Omnipresence means that God is everywhere. The writer of Psalm 139 remarks that there is nowhere he can hide from the presence of the Lord. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
The entire psalm speaks to God’s omnipresence and the last word, His Omniscience. I reference this when I said that God had infinite wisdom, as omniscience means all-knowing. In English, we say that an author is omniscient if he chronicles events in an impartial way, knowing the thoughts and feelings of all the characters through all events. The same with God; He knows everything.
In 1 Chronicles 1 when Solomon asks God for wisdom and understanding, it is implied the God has knowledge and understanding or He couldn’t give it to Solomon. Job says “But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.” (Job 32:8) Also, “For truly my words are not false; One who is perfect in knowledge is with you. Behold, God is mighty, but despises no one; He is mighty in strength of understanding.”(Job 36:4-5) In Job 38-41, God is trying to give Job some perspective as He enunciates the wealth of His creative knowledge and power.
The foreknowledge of God is the basis of His foreordained counsels, His promises, His warnings and predictions. J. Barton Payne’s Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy lists 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 prophecies in the New Testament, for a total of 1,817. These encompass 8,352 verses. As I already mentioned, check out psalm 139 and see what the psalmist writes of God’s Omnipresence, God’s Infinite Power, and God’s vast foreknowledge.
Omni- a prefix we use to mean “all” or “infinite”, sums up our understanding of the attributes of God. God is Omnipotent; He has infinite power and nothing is too difficult or impossible for Him. God is Omnipresent; He is everywhere and there is nowhere to go away from Him. God will never leave or forsake. God is Omniscient; He knows everything, nothing surprises Him and nothing stumps Him. With just our knowledge of these attributes, we would shake in our socks and mess our drawers, but thanks be to God, He is also Love, not treating us as our deeds deserve but by grace through faith, He adopts us into His family and gives us His Holy Spirit, whereby we can call Him Abba Father.