Does God Foreknow Our Decisions?

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Hi R____,
Thank you for your question.
You ask:

The answer is, I view that idea as completely without one verse of scriptural foundation. Yes, it is true that Joshua told Israel “Choose you this day whom you will serve”.

Jos 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [ were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Joseph acknowledged that his brothers had chosen to sell him into Egypt.

Gen 45:4  And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I [ am] Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5  Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

Joseph does not say ‘God sold me here’, he says ” You sold me here”. But that is not the “sum of God’s Word on why Joseph’s brothers sold him into Egypt. Joseph goes on to explain, “because God did send me before you to preserve life.” Then he makes that statement even clearer:

Gen 45:6  For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
Gen 45:7  And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Gen 45:8  So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

“It was not you… but God”??? If it really was God, then God knew in advance exactly what all ten of Joseph’s brothers were thinking, and He knew in advance just exactly what they were about to do. In other words, the truth of that situation and every situation that has ever been or ever will be is this:

Pro 16:1  The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

Those “preparations of the heart in man must surely include the evil thought of selling Joseph into slavery in Egypt and selling our Lord to the high priest and every other evil thought. If it does not include all the evil “preparations of the heart in man”, then the Lord is not sovereign over much of anything, because this is the simple Truth concerning the preparations of the thoughts of mankind in general:

Gen 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Rom 3:10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

That is why only three verses after telling us that “the preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord” in Pro 16:1 we are told this amazing Truth of God’s Word:

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

That is also why Joshua, only four verses after telling Israel to “choose you this day who you will serve”, made this revealing statement about Israel’s ability to follow through with that choice:

Jos 24:19  And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

Mercy and forgiveness of sins comes only through Christ. There was no mercy or forgiveness of sins under the law of Moses.

Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

So all flesh is inherently evil, by God’s design, and must be relinquished if we are to enter into the kingdom of God as our ultimate inheritance.

1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

So all who teach that God does not “foreknow our decisions” are simply blinded to the consistent truth of God’s Word which, from Genesis to Revelation, declares:

1Co 3:20  And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise” because:

Pro 16:1  The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

Yes. it is true. The Lord Himself does not cause us to sin, but He does send evil spirits to cause every evil accomplished “in the city”.

Jas 1:13  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
1Sa 16:14  But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
Amo 3:6  Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

You said:

Yes, that is what it is called, and “open theism” is simply a man- made doctrine which declares that God has given mankind a will that is free from God’s influence. It is a doctrine which places the salvation of mankind in mankind’s own hands, via mankind’s supposed free will. What this does is to place mankind on the throne of His own heart, and the greatest battle any of us will ever fight is the battle to determine who sits upon and rules the throne of our hearts. Until we are willing to acknowledge that even our evil thoughts are the work of God via “an evil spirit from the Lord” to sell our brother in to slavery or to “thrust him through with a javelin”, like Joseph’s brothers, we will suffer the fruit of that doctrine of believing that we have brought evil upon ourselves. That is a lie. We may not want to acknowledge it, but God makes it very clear that all evil is His creation and not ours.

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

It is by God’s own design that this battle must be fought, but all who teach the false doctrine of “open theism” and who want to keep the beastly “man of sin” upon that throne are completely unaware of the truth that is twice stated in these few verses of Rom 7, as well as throughout the scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation. This is the Truth concerning our will as it relates to God’s Will:

Rom 7:17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [ how] to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

There it is before us twice repeated, “It is no more I that do it [ sin], but sin that dwells in me” via “a law” which is called “the law of sin and death” (Rom 7:23, 25, and 8:2).
It is by law that I must sin, but who created and sustains that law to this day?

Jas 4:12  There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

So how can anyone overcome that law and be saved? Is this really a matter of anyone’s fabled ‘free will’? No, a thousand times, no. Here is the only way any of us will be saved from the law of sin that is in our members.

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

It is in our flesh to serve “the law of sin”, and if Christ is not dwelling in these “vessels of clay”, then we will not have dominion over sin in our lives. But if He is living His life in us, then sin does not have the dominion, even as we dwell in vessels of sinful flesh and blood.

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

How is it possible for the multitudes who come to Christ, as well as the many great “men of God” who are so educated and who have many degrees in theology, not to see that “it is not I that sin”? That is only possible by God’s divine intervention and by Him “giving them eyes that see, but do not perceive, and ears that hear, but do not understand.”

Mat 13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

We all live by “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Mat 4:4), so we all first fail to see or hear the spiritual “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”. But God “know the thoughts” because “the preparations of the heart are from the Lord” and the “open theists” have not yet been given eyes that see or ears to hear that Truth.
With these Truths firmly established, let’s now look at the two verses you reference:

Gen 22:12  And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
Deu 8:2  And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

Anyone who thinks that these two verses prove that God is unaware of what is in our hearts obviously thinks that the scriptures contradict themselves, and they do not believe that God creates evil and makes evil men for the day of evil in the lives of those evil men which we all are.
Anyone who thinks that God is “proving us to know what is in our hearts” for His own sake, apparently thinks that God didn’t even know where Adam and Eve were when He called out to them in the garden.

Gen 3:8  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Gen 3:9  And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

Christ asked Adam, “Where are you”, not for His own edification, but so He could discover behind which tree Adam was hiding. Christ posed this question to show Adam that Adam was not where he belonged. So too, God proved both Abraham and Israel, not for Himself, but to show us whether we are yet humbled and are yet willing to put him ahead of all things on this earth. All “open theists” are completely unaware of the truth of these verses, and they have no clue what “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” means:

Psa 139:16  Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.
Psa 139:17  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.
Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Every evil day of every man whom God has made for the day of evil in every man was all “written in His book when as yet there was not one of them.” God has given us all this “experience of evil to humble us”, and He is “working all things after the counsel of His own will”.
If you have not yet done so, please take the time to read the paper in the Essential Reading section of the upper left corner of the iswasandwillbe. com homepage entitled After The Counsel of His Own Will.
I hope this all helps you to see that God is far more capable than we are able to conceive, and that even the preparations of the thoughts of all of us really were written in His book before the world began, and that the doctrine of mankind being given a free will which is independent of God’s will is not based upon scripture, but is based upon the vain reasonings of men who are not yet given the power to dethrone the beast who is still sitting upon the throne of their hearts.
This is the opposite of that doctrine, and this is when God knew what He had written in His book:

Rom 9:16  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Rom 9:17  For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
Tit 1:2  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Your brother in Christ,

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