Q: Did God know that Adam and Eve would sin before he created them? Some Christians believe that God is not all-powerful.
A: Great question! I’m fascinated by our Christian brothers and sisters who have strange, anti-Christian beliefs squatting on their spiritual landscape like “God is not all-powerful.” Why on earth would you bother to claim a god who isn’t capable of being God? Jesus, who is also God, explains: “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, NASB.) If an entity can do absolutely anything, that affirms all power (omnipotent.) In truth, nothing is too difficult for God, as the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed (Jeremiah 32:12.) Alas, God tells us he is all powerful...as do his Prophets...and countless Apostles in the Bible. So how in the world, I ask in all sincerity, can you be a Christian yet believe your God is limited in any way?
Yes, God knew Adam and Eve would sin before he created them. Isaiah quoted a statement from the Lord to show us: “I am God, and there is none like me. I declare from the beginning how it will end and foretell from the start what has not yet happened. I decree that my purpose will stand, and I will fulfill my every plan” (Isaiah 46:9, 10, TPT.) In addition to being omnipotent, God is also omniscient (unlimited knowledge), so he knows everything that pertains to the earth and everyone on it from beginning to end. It’s a head-scratcher, I know. Why would God bother creating Adam and Eve? If he knew how it would all unfold, why would he even create? Human beings have intellectual limitations on what they can understand about these things, but I will try to explain what little I know.
God is interested in relationships with us. I’ve heard pastors say, “God wanted a family, so he created Adam and Eve.” They are referencing Genesis 1:27 where God explains that he made people in his image—he reproduced attributes of himself in human form, like having children. Out of God’s great love for his children, he decided to give us free will so that our love for him would be real, not programmed. So Adam and Eve lived for untold eons in a utopian garden with complete freedom and no problems and no sin; in perfect relationship with God. Then, they goofed. God gave them free will and hoped they would obey him, but they decided not to. God knew the possibility existed that their freedom could ruin the earth and his relationship with people, which it did before Jesus came. Yet God also knew that if the worst happened, he was all-powerful and could make a way to redeem and restore. He’s been busy doing that every day since.
You see, we tend to believe that God is interested in perfection—that he wants perfect children who speak perfectly, think perfectly and live sinless, perfect lives. Some people actually preach that garbage. Yet no such expectations exist in the heart of a good father, which is who our God is. A good father has children because he loves. His love doesn’t change when the baby messes its diaper, or talks back, or has a fender-bender, or winds up in jail. The good father hopes the child will choose wisely, tries to impart the difference between right and wrong and prays for the best-possible outcomes. But at the end of the day, what a good father desires more than perfectly behaved children is a loving relationship with them. Imperfection can be wiped away by forgiveness and love (1 Corinthians 13.) Relationship can never be replaced by performance or duty. Performance is faking-it. Duty is obligation. God, the good father, wants the hearts of his kids. He wants reciprocal love.
Yes, he knew who Adam and Eve would turn out to be. He loved them enough to give them the freedom to choose—hoping they would choose to spend eternity with him in the Garden. They didn’t. But I believe God took the chance because he deeply loved Adam and Eve; wanting to spend what time he could with them anyway. God has never, ever changed his love for his sons and daughters and he does not demand perfection. He sent Jesus to be the perfection we would need on this side of the Garden.