Thanksgiving and Acharit
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Declaring the end (aharitאחרית) from the beginning
Thanksgiving and Acharit; what does one have to do with the other?
At times we’ll face a situation and think, “I’m so glad this did not last,” and other times, we are thankful for those experiences that give us time and opportunity to reflect on where we are now and how far we’ve come. Whatever the case, there is always a reason to be thankful in every season. Colossians 4:2 says,
“Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
We can’t move forward without looking back. That’s what Acharit means—seeing the end from the beginning and then going back.
Here is an example. When you get into your car to drive, you have a windshield to see forward where you are going. But you also have a rearview mirror and two side mirrors that must be used to drive safely. The front, side, and rearview are all essential to getting you to your destination. In other words, just looking forward may not get you there! You also have to look back to know where you’ve been.
In the Book of Genesis, in Chapter 2, God was continually looking at what He created. God saw what He was going to create, and then He went back and created it.
Genesis 2: 1-3: So the heavens and the earth were completed along with their entire array. God finished the work on the seventh day from all His work that He made. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it for on it He ceased from all his work that God created for the purpose of preparing.
God is omniscient.
He knows all the present truths and the truths of the past and future. The only one who is omniscient is a Deity, and He Is God. An omniscient God knows every way in which evil can come into existence and knows in every way how those evils could be prevented. (Acharit)
Psalm 139: 4-8 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me: it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
God is omnipresent.
That means He is present everywhere. The Bible says that God can be present to a person in a manifest manner; Psalm 46:1 and Isaiah 57:15 as well as being present in every situation in all of creation at any given time; Psalm 33:13-14.
God knows everything that exists or occurs within the universe. In the words of Job, “he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens”: Job 28:24.
There is no place or object or event outside the knowledge of God: “The eyes of the LORD are in every place” Proverbs 15:3. “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” Psalm 147:4.
No event is too insignificant, nor is any object too trivial that God doesn’t notice. Yeshua said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:29-30. God’s knowledge is infinite.
Not only is God aware of all things that exist presently, God knows everything that will occur in the future. This awareness is referred to as God’s foreknowledge. God knows with certainty the events of the future and can declare them in advance: “I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done” Isaiah 46:9-10. (Acharit) God knows even the words we will speak before we open our mouths.
God not only knows the present and the future, but He knows what would happen under any potential circumstance. In other words, foreknowledge of what would occur if certain events were to happen. For example, God disclosed to David what actions the men of Keilah and Saul would take if David remained in Keilah;1Samuel 23. This knowledge enabled David to decide to leave.
Similarly, Yeshua was able to unequivocally state that “if the mighty works done in you Chorazin and Bethsaida had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” Matthew 11:21.
God’s omniscience extends beyond what will happen (His foreknowledge) to a knowledge of all conceivable potential events in a world where He has given man free will.
Furthermore, God’s omniscience extends into the very soul of every being. God knows the thoughts, desires, intentions, and motivations of every individual. As David said to Solomon, “the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought,” 1Chronicles 28:9. God, Himself stated, “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind” Jeremiah 17:10. God’s omniscience extends to the very core of who we are as individuals. “No creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” Hebrews 4:13. David understood this when he said, “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar” Psalm 139:1-2.
The Scriptures reveal that God has complete omniscience of every detail within His universe. He knows every object, creature, event, action, thought, and motivation in the universe – whether existing, future, or even potential. His knowledge is infinite (Psalm 147:5); it is unlearned (Romans 11:34) and, therefore, intrinsic to His nature.
This Thanksgiving, we are thankful for much. Let us look back and look forward, (Acharit).
Give thanks always! Look to the future, and give thanks, be grateful for the past. Most of all, give thanks for God's omniscience and omnipresence.
Love in Yeshua,
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*Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.