Yesterday evening my family and I had the opportunity to spend some time visiting friends who own a ranch. While there we all rode around in the pick up truck to check the cows, which included tagging a couple of new-born calves. Since just about everything that ranching involves is foreign to me, it was a neat experience to learn more about what all is involved. Later, I asked my friend how many times each day he goes around to check the cows, to which he replied, “Six or seven.” I’m guessing (I didn’t ask, actually) that this number is indicative of the number of times he checks during calving time, and that it is not necessary to check that often year-round, but it still prompted me to think about God, and the incredible reality of His omnipresence and omniscience.
The Bible reminds us in several passages that God always knows what is going on. 2 Chronicles 16:9a says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” God is able to watch everything that is going on everywhere on earth. He knows what’s happening with all 7 billion-plus people at every moment. Proverbs 15:3 says, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (ESV).
My friend cares for his cattle, so he goes around regularly to check on them. God cares for us, too…but because He is God, we do not have to wait for Him to come check on us. If something happens, we need not wait until the next time He makes His rounds in order to ask Him for help. We can go to Him in prayer anywhere, anytime, and know that He will hear. Even more amazing though is the fact that He will already know what is going on with us. As His eyes run to and fro throughout the earth God has never laid eyes on me and though, “What’s that guy doing? I didn’t expect to see that!” No, He knows. He is never caught unaware or by surprise.
The other important thing to remember about this truth, though, is that just as God always knows what we are doing and what we need, it is equally true that we can never hide anything from God. The passage above in Proverbs makes it clear that He is watching the evil and the good. He knows everything that happens…even those things we might prefer He did not know. If someone wanted to steal some cattle, he would likely watch to see when my friend had made his rounds, and then try to act quickly before he went around again. As a school administrator, I know the reality of students sometimes behaving differently when I am in a room than when I am not. As a supervisor I have seen examples of employees behaving differently when I am present than when I am not. As a Christian I know that there have been times when I have acted differently when I am in church or around other believers than when I am not. The fact that God is always watching, is ever aware, and is never able to be fooled is an excellent reminder that there really is no such thing as anything done in secret.