A few months ago I had an incredible revelation given to me by the Lord. I was inductively studying Matthew and hit a wall in Chapter 2. Pretty far, right? But I did. I ran in to a question that scared me, and shook my faith.
“The Flight to Egypt
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Herod Kills the Children
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
The Return to Nazareth
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.”
-Matthew 2: 13-23
I soaked in the passage admiring the fulfilled prophecies of Hosea, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. The skilled writings of Matthew, and taking in the horrific acts of King Herod. I loved the way God sent His angels. I loved the beautiful hints found in the passage displaying God’s humility, patience, trustworthiness. But, then I wondered; If God knows everything, then why didn’t He tell Joseph and his family to go straight to Nazareth? If the prophets prophesied that Jesus would be a Nazarene, then wouldn’t God just send them straight there? The question seems simple, but it is actually really complex.
I feared that God was inconsistent. That He was not all-knowing. Which makes the question very complex. Because if God is not all-knowing then how can He help us in times of trouble? How could we ever be prophetic? How is Jesus really going to come back? How is the Bible true, because the Bible says that God is all knowing? I refused to believe these things about the King of Kings. Though my flesh wanted to skip the passages, skip the doubts, and move on with lazy faith, my Spirit was jumping inside. So I sat, for hours. Praying, digging, meditating, repeat. I couldn’t figure it out. If there was an answer on the internet, I didn’t want it yet. I had to figure this out on my own because I knew God wanted to reveal to me who He was Himself, not through another’s interpretation.
Then it hit me! We cannot be all-knowing because we can’t be God. For wisdom, we have to choose the all-knowing God. I suppose the ‘why’ is unimportant. God allowed Joseph to still be human and go through what made sense before revealing His change of plans. God stoops beneath His infinite knowledge of what He ultimately knows is going to happen. He is consistent and patient. If He took us where He always knew best, we wouldn’t be human, and life would take no amount of faith. We couldn’t have a relationship with God because we would never choose Him, instead we’d be in this bubble of protection from failure, sin, hardship, and ignorance. Gods ourselves. It is these things that bring us to God, and His knowledge is too wonderful for us to know ( Job 42:3 ).
As I rejoiced in this revelation, God continued conversing with me about it. He asked me if I really wanted to know everything. He told me I was incapable not because of my lack of power, but because I couldn’t handle knowing the weight and impact my sin has on other’s lives. It was a very humbling moment between the Lord and I.
I thank Him that He is all-knowing every day now. We cannot do this life ourselves. How beautiful it is that we get the privilege of having a relationship with a God that suffers watching us suffer, and gives us the choice to choose Him amidst the suffering. The answer is simple. God is all-knowing because that is His character and He can’t not be, and we get blessed by His character! We don’t have to continue governing ourselves, our families, and our relationships. We can drop to our knees in desperation, and reach out to the God who knows the quickest answer to the wonderfully complex questions.