Thank you for your good question. In the first few words of your question, you said “If God knows everything.” Let us first establish from God’s Word that God certainly does know everything. We read in 1 John 3:20, “God is greater than our heart and knows all things” (NASB). The Apostle Peter also testified to this truth when he said in John 21:17, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you” (NASB).

With this solid foundation that God is omniscient, or knows everything, we can now consider Genesis 22:12. God knew before Abraham obeyed that he would obey God by demonstrating willingness to sacrifice his only son Isaac. The Hebrew word for know in this verse is “yada,” and means to ascertain by seeing. To ascertain is to find something out for certain. God’s previous knowledge of what Abraham would do was confirmed by observing Abraham’s obedience. When God said, “I know that thou fearest God,” it did not mean that God did not know previously what Abraham would do. God knew beforehand that Abraham would be obedient, but He said “now I know” since He had now observed the obedience that He already knew would happen.

Applying this to our own lives, are we being obedient like Abraham? God will most likely not ask us to sacrifice our only son, but He does ask us to obey Him. The Lord Jesus said in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” When we trust in the Lord Jesus as our Savior, “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5). It is God’s love in us that gives us a desire to please Him with our lives. The secret is not in trying harder to be obedient, but in “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). As we stay focused on our Savior, He will help us to honor Him. As we read in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Let us shine for Christ today to a world that desperately needs Him! (264.7) (DJ)