Or as one version puts it: "knew his people in advance."
One of the logical, philosophical quagmires people can get into is trying to wrap their brains around the fact that the all-powerful, all-knowing God, who hates sin, has given his created beings free choice. He knew before creation who would choose him. He knew before creation who would refuse him. He knew before creation who would totally mess up and who would succeed.
This could start a chain-reaction of unanswerable questions. In order to answer these questions, we would need to read God's mind. And no one but God's Spirit knows what's in God's heart fully. And he lets us know what's on God's heart, but not answers to those types of questions. He tells what he knows to be sufficient for us to trust him, to choose relationship with him, to seek to obey him.
God knew his family in advance. And he chose them, but not just for salvation. He chose them to be like Jesus. (Jesus is now the first-born of a very large family.) He chose them for relationship ... a close relationship.
And if they chose his invitation for relationship, he chose to give them, not only relationship, but right standing. He chose them to become his possession, his nation and his family. He redeemed them and forgave them. There is peace between God and his children. He does not hold their sin against them. He chooses not to remember it.
And, now that his children have right standing, he chooses to share his glory.
- God's Perspective
It is practically impossible to approach this area from God's perspective. God expresses himself pretty thoroughly in most other areas. He is pretty much silent about this. Hence, the unanswerable questions.
We do know:
- God created the world to be perfect.
- God designed people. God provided fuels to power their bodies, their minds and their spirits.
- The main fuel was a relationship with the Father of All. And the Father's love is the main component of the relationship.
- Man sinned. Sin broke Man's design. People are cut off from their main fuel.
- God loves people. God hates sin, because it breaks the relationship with people. It breaks his design of the world and people.
- God knew it all before it would happen ... and he went and did it anyway.
He even went through extraordinary lengths to re-connect with people. He goes through extraordinary lengths to "fix" his design.
I certainly am not in a position to explain how all this makes sense. In part, we experience God's choice of re-connection and "fixing." And, in this, we experience God's glory now.
- Living My Life
It is hard to see how this can have any practical impact on living. The only thing I can say about it is God knew me. God knew my heart. God knew my motivations. God knew my successes. God knew my failures, my weaknesses, and the areas I am still failing in, and will continue to fail in. And still:
- He pursues relationship.
- He chooses to work with me.
- He chooses to work through me.
- He delights in me.
- He loves me.
- He includes me in his family.
- He includes me in his mission and purposes.
- He has a place for me that gives one purpose, meaning and heart satisfaction.
And I can enter into and experience all this as I trust him, are open to his communication, and seek to follow that communication.