Does God Know Everything That Will Happen?


A big question that most people have about biblical prophecy is, “Can I trust that what I read in the Bible will really happen the way it says in scripture?” Does the Almighty God, the creator of the Universe, really know the future? In describing His foreknowledge of events, the Lord states:


9Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. 10I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please’ (Isaiah 46:9-10).


3I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. 4For I knew how stubborn you were; your neck muscles were iron, your forehead was bronze. 5Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, ‘My images brought them about; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’ 6You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them? “From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you. 7They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, ‘Yes, I knew of them’ (Isaiah 48:3-7).


When the people of Israel were wandering far from God and worshipping demons masquerading as nature deities in the form of idols, He used the prophet, Isaiah, to speak to them as to whom was God. To set Himself apart from other so-called deities, God said: “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you” (Isaiah 42:8-9). To prove and authenticate that He alone is God, the Lord challenged the false gods and idols to do the same:

21“Present your case,” says the LORD. “Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King. 22“Tell us, you idols, what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, 23tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear (Isaiah 41:21-23).


The Lord God put all the false religions to the test—"tell us what the future holds if you are God." Let's take just one for today, the prophecy about the city of Tyre in Ezekiel 26:1-14. I don’t have room to reproduce the whole passage. You can read it online elsewhere or in the Bible. God spoke ahead of time about six specific things that would happen to Tyre:


1) Nebuchadnezzar would attack the city and capture it (v.7, 10).

2) Many nations would come against the city and plunder it (v.3-5).

3) There would be a siege on the city by Nebuchadnezzar (v.8).

4) The stones, timber, and rubble of Tyre would be thrown into the sea.

5) The city would be a bare rock and a place for fishermen to spread their nets.

6) The city would never be rebuilt.


Seventeen years after this prophecy, history records that Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king came against the mainland city of Tyre. You can check this out on Wikipedia.org. He was after the great treasure that was there—the city of Tyre had become very prosperous. Nebuchadnezzar was after their wealth to finance his army. When he arrived with his army, their dust covered the city. He used massive force, and with battering rams, he broke down the walls and captured the city. There was only one problem, though; ships had shifted the majority of the treasure to the two little islands that were half a mile from the land. Nebuchadnezzar and his army were furious but try as they might; they were unsuccessful in capturing the island fortress, partly because they had no ships. Nebuchadnezzar carried on down the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Some would say that this left the prophecy partially unfulfilled, and for several years it was so. 240 years later, Alexander the Great came on his conquest of the Persian Empire. He also attacked the city of Tyre, and to get to the island off the coast; he built a causeway with the rubble of the mainland city of Tyre. Literally, all of the ruins of the city of Tyre was thrown into the sea to make the causeway. Alexander finally captured the city, and even today there are pictures of the local fishermen spreading their nets on the bare rock of where the ancient city stood. The causeway changed the way the tide ran past the city making the old island city now underwater, just as Ezekiel prophesied.


A Jewish traveler in the 1100s, named Benjamin of Tudela, came to the old spot where Tyre once existed and wrote:

"A man can ascend the walls of New Tyre and see ancient Tyre, which the sea has now covered, lying at a stone's throw from the new city. And should one care to go forth by boat, one can see the castles, marketplaces, streets, and palaces in the bed of the sea. New Tyre is a busy place of commerce, to which merchants flock from all quarters."

Benjamin of Tudela, the Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela.

Keith Thomas