No one can teach God knowledge; no one can tell Him anything at all. He is God. His intelligent will is the efficient cause of the existence and subsistence of things that be, Himself excepted. He created, preserves and governs all things according to His holy will, so that nothing happens in this world but by His appointment. He keeps all things so under His power that not a hair of our head, nor a sparrow can fall to the ground without His will.
God makes history. The events of the day are but the realization of His eternal deliberations. He brings to pass what He has spoken; He does what He has purposed (Isaiah 46:10). His counsel stands and He will do all His good pleasure; calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth His counsel from a far country, (Isaiah 9).
God is first cause of the various phenomena in nature. He covereth Himself with light as with a garment. He stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters. He maketh the clouds His chariots, and walketh upon the wings of the wind. The foundations of the earth are laid by Him, that it should not be removed forever. He covers it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At His rebuke they fled; at the voice of His thunder they hasted away. They go up the mountains; they go down the valleys unto the place which He founded for them. God has set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again, to cover the earth. He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. He watereth the hills from His chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and the herb for the service of man; that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart. He appointeth the moons for seasons; the sun knoweth his going down. He makes darkness and it is night. . . .He looketh on the earth and it trembleth: He toucheth the hills, and they smoke (Ps. 104).
We conclude that the sum-total of things made, plus the things being made to transpire, do not teach God knowledge. Man and the angel cannot teach God. Being creatures they need to be taught. Neither is there another god at whose feet our God placed Himself to be formed. It must be then that God’s knowledge is original with Himself, and at once self-knowledge. Knowing Himself, He knows all there is to be known, and taught by none is the teacher of all.
As to man, he is creature and not creator. Hence, he must be told, informed, taught. Being equipped with capacities for knowing, he can be taught. He understands God when the latter speaks. Placing himself at the feet of God, man will know. He has no knowledge original with himself. What he knows is a gift of God. Thrown on his own resources, and left to himself, man can know nothing. It cannot be otherwise, for he is but a creature. The ideas embodied in things made are not his, but God’s. The glory which the heavens declare is the glory of the Creator, not of the creature. The firmament showeth God’s handiwork, His speech it is which day unto day uttereth. Night unto night showeth knowledge of the Architect of the Universe. If man refuses to listen to the speech of God, it is night in his soul. Such are the plain teachings of Scripture. Said the Lord unto Job: “Gird up thy loins now like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me, where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest, or who hast stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened, or who laid the cornerstone thereof? When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it break forth as if it hath issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof and thick darkness a swaddling band for it. . . .? Hast thou entered the springs of the sea, or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? Have gates of death been opened unto thee, or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? Declare if thou knowest it all. Where is the way where light dwelleth, and as for darkness, where is the place thereof? Knowest thou it because thou wast then born, or because the number of thy days is great? Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow, or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail. . . .? By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth? Hath the rain a father, or who hath begotten the drops of dew? Out of whose womb came the ice: and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?” (Job 38).
We conclude that man knows as man. His ideas are not original with him. There is but one such foundation of knowledge, namely, God. Men must be taught by Him. All men—the farmer and the craftsman as well as the theologian. Attend to the Scripture: “Give ye ear and hear my voice; hearken and hear my speech. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow, doth he open and break the clods of ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rye in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion and doth teach him. For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheat turned about upon the cummin with a rod. Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. This also comes from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working, (Isaiah 28:23-29).
The Lord, then, has no need of man’s approval or advice for He is the Lord, and man is creature. Yet to such as are His friends, the Lord, great, wise, and mighty pours out His heart, reveals His secrets. There is a revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto His servants the things which must shortly come to pass. And these friend-servants approve of what the Lord is about to do and praise His name for his righteous judgments. They say, We give thee thanks, 0 Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come, because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, arid thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth (Rev. 2:17-18). In the praise of His friends—a praise which He, to be sure, prepares, the Lord takes keen delight.