Before we answer your question, let’s establish the fact that God is all-knowing. 1st John 3:20 declares, “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and KNOWS ALL THINGS.” In John 16:30 the disciples of Jesus said to Him, “Now we are sure that YOU KNOW ALL THINGS, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” We could cite many other verses that declare the wonderful and awesome truth that God is OMNISCIENT (i.e., all-knowing). He not only knows what all people are thinking, saying and doing (see Psalm 139), but He knows everything that will happen in the future and at times He reveals future events to us. We see this truth in Isaiah 46:10, “Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, DECLARING THE END FROM THE BEGINNING, AND FROM ANCIENT TIMES THINGS THAT ARE NOT YET DONE, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.’”

In light of this truth, you ask a legitimate question, for since God knows all things why would He ask questions that SEEM to imply He doesn’t know all things. The answer is actually quite simple; He doesn’t ask questions “for His sake,” but for the “sake of others.” In the case of Adam (that you alluded to); God knew perfectly well WHERE Adam was. So, when He asked Adam, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9), He knew he was hiding “among the trees of the garden” (verse 9). Yet in love and grace God was seeking, in this question, to “draw Adam out of his hiding place.” Adam did come out and his reply to God was, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (verse 10). God also knew WHY Adam had hidden and yet He asked him two other questions, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” These questions were meant to convict Adam of his disobedience and its devastating result. I suppose God could have simply dragged Adam out from his hiding place and given him a stern lecture of condemnation, but instead God chose to deal with Adam in grace by making him acknowledge his sin, which in turn would help to prepare his heart for the salvation He was about to offer him. This “salvation” is seen in verse 15 where God told the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He SHALL BRUISE YOU HEAD, and you SHALL BRUISE HIS HEEL.” In these few words God was promising a Savior for Adam and Eve (and all mankind), for the day was coming when He would send His Son to be born of a woman (Galatians 4:4) in order to defeat the serpent (the Devil…Revelation 20:2) through His death on the cross (John 12:31-33 and Hebrews 2:14). This salvation would only be valid for the sinner who believes (John 3:16) and by God’s grace Adam DID BELIEVE. We know he believed because after hearing the “gospel message” he named his wife Eve, which means “mother of all living” (Genesis 6:20). Then God covered their nakedness with “coats of skins, and clothed them” (verse 21), a picture of God clothing the believing sinner with the “garments of salvation” based on Christ’s sacrificial death (see Isaiah 61:10 and 2nd Corinthians 5:21).

We could cite multiply examples throughout Scripture where God asked people questions and in every case, it was to “get their attention and to make them think.” For example, in the book of Job God asked Job many questions (see Job chapters 38-41) in order to TEACH HIM LESSONS that he needed to learn. Job had a lot to learn and God, the PERFECT TEACHER, used well-designed questions in the learning process. When Jesus walked on earth, He often used questions to draw out confessions from His listeners. A good example of this is seen when He asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am” (Matthew 16:13)? He knew that most men did not see who He really was but this question then led Him to ask, “But who do YOU say that I am” (verse 15). This led Peter to boldly confess, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (verse 16). In Luke chapter 8 we see Jesus walking through a crowd of people who were thronging him and suddenly a severely ill woman “touched the border of His garment” and was healed (verses 43-44). Jesus then asked, “Who touched Me” (verse 45)? Surely, HE KNEW who touched Him and that she had been healed, but in order to draw out her confession of what had just happened He asked that question. And thus we read in verse 47, “Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.”

In closing, we can rest assured that GOD KNOWS ALL THINGS and when He asked a question, HE HAD A DEFINITE PURPOSE in doing so. Like a good parent (with their children) or school teacher (with their pupils), He would ask just the right questions to instruct them, to challenge them, and to cause them to respond. It was NOT for His benefit, but for theirs (though not all received the instruction He was trying to give them).  (467.3)  (DO)