Yesterday I talked about how, like Jeremiah the Prophet, we were created by God for a purpose. God has a unique plan for each of us. God’s plan and purpose for our lives precedes our 29 jeremiahexistence. Although Jeremiah’s father was Hilkiah, and although we all have human parents, we were nonetheless created by God personally. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” The Living Bible translates this verse, “I knew you before you were formed within your mother’s womb; before you were born I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.” This verse bears looking at from several different perspectives because it’s so important. You see, as Ryken observed, “A fetus is a person.”

Each of us, like Jeremiah, are created by God in the image of God to live in relationship with God. This verse makes it clear that God “knew” Jeremiah before he was born. This verb implies intimate knowledge and a relationship. We did not begin at our birth. Our conception is not even our true beginning. Ryken goes on to say, “In some ineffable way, God has a personal knowledge of the individual that precedes conception. …What a beautiful thing for God to say to his children! ‘I loved you and cared for you in eternity past. I made a personal commitment to you even before you were born.’ And what a beautiful thing for parents to say to their children: ‘God knows you, God loves you, and God has entered into a personal relationship with you.’ This verse holds special comfort for mothers who have had miscarriages. It gives hope to parents who have lost children in infancy, and even for women who aborted their own babies. God knew your child, and he knows your child.”

He knows you and He knows me! Ryken continues his comments, “God’s choice is not unique to Jeremiah; it is true for every believer. This is known as the doctrine of divine election. ‘You did not choose me,’ Jesus said to his disciples, ‘but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit’ (John 15:16a). ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.… For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight’ (Ephesians 1:3–4). This promise is for the whole church. Therefore, it is for the comfort of every Christian. God not only knows you, he chose you; and he did so long before you were ever conceived.”