To Be Or Not To Be...
What do the following verses have in common?
Genesis 2:19 - And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Genesis 22:12 - And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
In the first verse, God is said to have brought the animals to Adam to see what he would call them. Does this mean God did not know what Adam would call the animals? How could it mean anything else? Why would God mean something other than what is specifically written? Does it take away from God’s sovereignty because he gives his created beings the ability to make choices? God knows all that is in existence, but does it limit God in any way if he does not know something that does not yet exist (like what Adam would name the animals)? Of course not. But it does go to show us that the freewill choices of human beings are not objects of knowledge, therefore they are not foreknown. God can know what is in the hearts of people and in his infinite wisdom can predict outcomes, but verses like these verify that the future acts of freewill beings are not already in existence to be known.
How about the second verse? Some commentators will claim that God meant the exact opposite of what is written. They will say that God knew all along what would happen, but Abraham did not, so this experience was for Abraham’s benefit. There is one major problem with this interpretation - that is not what God's word plainly says! It is interesting that people will claim that we need to take the words of God in the Bible literally, but point out verses like these that support the open view of the future and then we are told not to take the scriptures so literally. How else should it be taken? The Bible uses metaphors, but metaphors are never meant to teach the exact opposite of what God is telling us.
When I read the KJV I believe I am reading the preservation of God’s words so far as the English language is able to accurately translate the original Hebrew and Greek. I am not saying the words of the KJV could not be updated or that a different word could not have been used in certain places to give a better understanding of the Hebrew or Greek. I do believe the KJV is consistent within itself as a translation, that it can be trusted, and I do not have this same level of confidence in modern versions, which are often interpretations rather than translations. Simply put, I believe the KJV interprets itself.
God knows what is in the hearts of people – but the Bible tells us that our actions do not become certainties in the mind of God until they are made certain by our choices. God is infinitely resourceful, wise, and creative. He does not need a prewritten or previewed script in order to accomplish his purposes.
Food for thought:
“Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be (emphasis mine) that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. Jeremiah 36:2-3