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Does God choose to limit Himself?

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by LanceA, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. In scripture we see where it seems God has chosen or make Himself not know certain events in the bible. I'll give one example of this.

    Genesis 18:20-21

    God is speaking to Abraham and telling him that there is an outcry from the sin Sodom and Gomorrah is doing and that He needed to go down to see whether they have done this sin and if not then He would know.

    In a way this tells us God either doesn't know everything or He chooses not to know everything. Why would God need to go to the city to prove what He already knows?

    I fully believe God knows everything and in this instance He chooses not to know and therefore proceeds in finding out what is going on. What are your thoughts?
  2. My thoughts on the Sodom and Gomorrah story are that God was well aware of the wickedness going on there but He so desired to extend mercy, and because He is always desiring partnership with mankind, He opted for it in this situation also. God is ALL ABOUT relationship. Remember how He called out in Eden, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:9). God knew exactly where Adam and Eve were, but He acted out of relationship, knowing they were hiding, but desiring them to respond.

    With the cities of the plain, I think God was opting for any reason to extend mercy, for that is part of who He is. In Eden, He was acting as the friend He is to us. It is heartbreaking, actually, to know from this vantage point some 6000 years later, that God's heart just had to be broken, and He was calling out to His creation, His children, whom He loved and considered GOOD, and with whom He had a wonderful, perfect relationship, unmarred by sin or imperfection to that point.
    TheCurseOfTheRodain, Ravindran, KingJ and 2 others say Amen and like this.
  3. I think that we have to remember, that at this time, the devil had control over the earth. Jacobs ladder was in operation, and that's how the angels entered the earth. In another passage of scripture, we hear that the angel Michael took so long to get to God's prophet, because He had to do war to enter the earth.

    I think that God heard, what was happening, but couldn't see because of the block that the devil had up. I read another passage in Genesis, at the tower of babel God said the same thing. Let's go down and take a look.

    But like i said we have to remember this was before, Jesus took the keys back from the devil, and gave it to us. Thus removing jacobs ladder, freeing the angels to freely roam the earth. The veil was torn in two when Jesus died. And that is where God dwelt, was in the Holy of Holies.
  4. #4 KingJ, Mar 2, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
    The first step to grasping God is grasping we cannot grasp Him :notworthy: :love: Job 9:3. We can only look at where the evidence points.

    It appears as though God limits Himself and changes His mind throughout scripture.

    Cross = limited omnipotence.
    Free will = limited omniscience.

    I kind of reach peace on the subject though when I consider these scriptures:
    - There is no darkness in Him 1 John 1:5,
    - He is a consuming fire / the bright morning star Heb 12:29 & Rev 22:16.

    The rational conclusion I believe is that God can do anything but that does not mean He does. Can and do are different words. We cannot think of God doing things in terms of His omniscience / omnipotence alone, but rather we need to move on and try grasp that He is a consuming fire of 'good' who does what pleases Him, which can only be what is good. Psalm 115:3 Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. Psalm 136:1 Give thanks because God is good.

    Applying this to your example I guess means that God chose to not watch the sin of Sodom. Just like I will not watch my child commit an evil act. The 'outcry' kicked a greater will of God's into action. God hears and reacts to the cries of His people John 9:31. Just like when Moses wanted those worshipping the golden calf to be spared in Ex 32. God's will was to destroy them. His greater will was to respect Moses's request. So I guess we can conclude that it was the outcry from His people that prompted a quicker then initially planned destruction of the cities. Another way to see it could be that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah reached 'full measure'' when they rejected the warnings from God's messengers. Messengers sent after the outcry. God spares the wicked until their sin is full measure Gen 15:16 for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.
    Chopper and Euphemia say Amen and like this.
  5. God is long suffering, and as such, allows the ebb and flow until the cup of His wrath is full and then He acts. It’s not a matter of knowing/not knowing, but one of allowing men to repent, emptying the cup before it’s full.
    Euphemia likes this.
  6. If God knows everything, and he does, then how would we know what his intents are unless he tells us or asks us questions? I believe God told Abraham his intents for SG just so Abraham would intercede on their behalf. The Lord is very very smart in his dealings with man! The Lord needs a man on earth so he (God) can accomplish his will through man. The Holy Spirit can not be sent to Africa to preach the Gospel as he needs a "man" from which to preach his message as his "instrument of righteousness!

    Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

    TheCurseOfTheRodain and Cturtle say Amen and like this.
  7. From whom do you think the 'outcry' arose?
    Could it have been from a group / class of angel set to watch over those cities?
    True, Abraham had the opportunity to intercede, and he learned a lot about the Lord's mercy, it is just interesting to ponder the source of the outcry.
  8. The question was, does got allow himself or limit himself from knowing everything? If He didn't limit himself there would be no reason to check out the city because He already knew. God uses man constantly in the bible to do things. He doesn't need to but in a way He has limited himself from doing certain things on His own. This doesn't mean God doesn't have the power to dot it, He just chooses not to.
  9. God did Adam authority over all the works of his hands, so you could say the Lord did limit him self in what he could do on earth, unless he found a man to allow him access.
    Cturtle likes this.
  10. Yes, I considered the thread topic and don't see that I have derailed it in anyway.
    If...if the Lord has set 'watchers' over groups/nations of men, would that be to keep Him informed or to give certain angels something to do to make their life interesting?
    Are there 'watchers'?
    Dan 4:17. The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.'
    Dan 12:1. "At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.
    Just thinking of the OP.
    Personally, I'm thinking that the Lord can know all things at all times, but His sovereign choice is to allow others to keep Him informed hence the 'personal' visit to Sodom.
  11. That is very interesting. It seems rational that God give the angels duties like that until this whole age of humans and fallen angels is over. Angels are created just above us, so they too are most likely wondering the exact same point as Lance.

    I guess that is the next question. Will we ever grasp God's omniscience? Are we destined to eternally simply grasp that the evidence points to Him being good / limiting omniscience and omnipotence...
  12. And I think this was so every evident in the conversation between Abraham and The Angel of the Lord..
  13. I believe the key here is actually verse 18.

    "Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and might nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him".

    Then verse 19 God goes on to say.........
    "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."

    In other words, God is saying......."This is something I better not hide from Abraham because he might get the wrong impression of Me".

    Then from verses 20-21 God says to Abraham........."I KNOW the situatuion there, but I am going to investigate it anywhay".

    Thta tyells me that the Lord is never in a hurry to do things. Because God told Abraham, he has the time to think it over. It is a good thing God did that since Abraham seemed to get the wrong idea of things a lot.
  14. Agreed!
  15. Yes we will but NOT while we are alive on this earth. One day when we have glorified bodies the Bible says that we will have the mind of Christ!
  16. Can you point that scripture out to me? Thanks
  17. I believe we will grasp a lot more but are you suggesting we literally receive 'the mind of God'? We will grasp where God comes from? :) I hope you are right, that question will give us headaches in heaven.
  18. 1Co 2:15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
    1Co 2:16 "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
    1Co 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.
    Major likes this.
  19. Where does this scripture say that we have to wait till we get to heaven to receive the mind of Christ?
    Euphemia likes this.
  20. What's the purpose of renewing our minds to the Word of God?

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