We are addicted to information. The bombardment of news, stories, infographics, perspectives, and advertising pours information into our souls through our eyes and ears. I believe this much information is more than our finite brains were created to handle.
God built our brains to hold information that is for sure – to be able to learn, know, discover, and reason. But usually information is integrated over a long period of time in a focused way by us seeking to learn something, or going to school to grow in proficiency in a certain field. The way we consume information right now is not systematic or balanced. We are being inundated by the thick and sticky goo of stories, hit pieces, and well-marketed articles designed to draw us in and generate clicks for the machine.
We literally have paraded before us stories of individual cases of how the Coronavirus or its vaccine affected someone in a village in Japan, or we are enraged that someone, who has no official political responsibilities, tweets something crazy and it was republished by others.
By definition, to be omniscient is to have all knowledge about everything. Now obviously the only being who has full omniscience is the God of the universe. This Divine Omniscience tells us that God is the one who not only knows what is going on at the surface (Psalm 147:4-5) but also below it at the heart level (Prov 24:12, Heb 4:13). When you think of the world and all its inhabitants and all the goings on seen and unseen, you should be overloaded because this much information cannot be computed by a finite being. Here’s the good news, an infinite God can not only handle it, but is sovereign over it.
The Old Temptation
I think we are captured by this oversupply of information at our fingertips because it is whispering to us the very thing the snake in the garden whispered to our first parents, “you will be like God” (Gen 3:5). We think If we have all the information, if we can just know what is going on all around us, there will finally be satisfaction and rest for our souls because we’ll have “all the answers”. In reality we’re grasping for omniscience, something we are not meant for, and our souls are exhausted. How many of you touch your smart phone first thing in the morning to see what you missed, need to be connected to the news stream, and feel spent after consuming all the information you can find, gorging yourself on articles, opinions, sensationalized images, videos, and text?
Embrace Your Finiteness
You are a person, in a place, at a time not by accident, but by good design. You are not God. You can’t be like him. As a created being, omniscience is not for you and your attempt to be omniscient by consuming all the information the world is throwing at you will destroy you. It’s like an elephant swimming across the Indian Ocean thinking they can be like a great white shark. It’s going to end in one way: drowning.
Instead, peace is found in not just begrudgingly accepting but embracing that you are finite – not created to know all things but knowing that the one who loves you, and gave himself for you does know all things and controls them to his glory and for the ultimate good of his people.