Listen:  82 Question 2

That’s a very good and thought provoking question.  First, the Lord absolutely knew that Adam and Eve would disobey Him by partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  We read in Isaiah 46:9-10, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”  The word ‘declaring’ means that the Lord pronounced the end from the beginning.  The Lord knows everything.  We see that even from ancient times, He speaks of things not yet done.

We get an insight to the Lord’s knowledge in verses such as Revelation 13:8 which says, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”  In the Father’s eternal councils, the Lord Jesus was crucified even before man was created.  1 Peter 1:18-20 expresses a very similar thought.  That says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”  Here we learn that even before the foundation of the world, it was determined that the Lord Jesus would die and shed His precious blood to redeem sinful men and women like you and me.

You also asked why the Lord would go through all this pain of seeing his creation rebel against Him.  Although the Lord knew what would happen, it did cause Him great sorrow when man turned away from Him to follow after sinful desires.  Genesis 6:6 tells us that, “The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.”  The knowledge of man’s future fall did not prevent Him from sorrow when the fall occurred.  It is sin that separates men from God, and His desire is that all men have a close relationship with Him.  The Lord Jesus, Himself, wept as He considered the future consequences that would come upon Jerusalem because of their rejection of Him.  Luke 19:41-44 says, “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”  This pain came upon the Lord because He desires that all men should be saved.  2 Peter 3:9 tells us that, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  It is the great love of the Lord that causes Him to be grieved at the sins of people.  He doesn’t want to have to judge people in their sins; He would much rather bless us with eternal life.  But, as the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 23:37, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”  His desire was to bless, but they would not come to Him.  The Lord expressed His desire and His invitation to all men in Matthew 11:28 where He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Another indication of the Lord’s great foreknowledge and love is found in John 18:4 which says, “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth…”  The Lord was going to meet those who would take Him away to be crucified.  He knew what was going to happen.  He knew of the beatings, the mockery, the humiliation, and the terror of the cross…yet He went forth anyway.  What love!  What mercy!  With all these things in mind, we must agree with the psalmist who wrote in Psalms 113:3, “From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.”  (82.2)