The Book of Genesis gives us the account of man’s fall from God’s grace due to sin. It mentions that one evening, Adam and Eve “heard the Lord God walking in the garden, and they hid from him among the trees. But the Lord God called out to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden; I was afraid and hid from you, because I was naked’” (Gen. 3:8-10 Good News Bible).
If God is really omniscient, then no one can hide from Him. So why did God ask the whereabouts of the man with the question “Where are you?” Doesn’t this mean that God did not know that the man whom He created was hiding among the trees?
Being omniscient, God Almighty knows everything (I John 3:20). No one can hide from Him:
“‘Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the LORD.” (Jer. 23:24 New International Version)
Even before we utter a word, God already knows what we will say (Ps. 139:1-4 GNB).
Therefore, just because God asked Adam where he was does not mean that He did not know his location. In fact, He had already known what the couple would do even before they committed sin. He just wanted them to admit their transgression of His strict instruction not to eat the fruit of the tree that would give them the knowledge of good and evil (Ps. 32:5).
In the same manner, when God asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” (Gen. 4:9 NIV) after Cain had slain and buried his brother, He knew what he had done:
“The Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground’.” (Gen. 4:10 NIV)
Therefore, not all discourse such as this should be taken to assume that the source or the speaker did not know. God’s asking Adam and Cain certain questions as cited, does not disprove His omniscience. The Bible even describes how vast God’s knowledge or understanding is:
“Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” (Ps. 147:5 New King James Version)
With this, the Almighty God was able to declare from ancient times things that will happen in the future: “Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure’” (Isa. 46:9-10 NKJV).