Hoyt Axton was a songwriter and wanted to persuade his record producers to record a new melody that kept playing in his head. The tune was absent of any lyrics but the producers asked him to sing any words to the song. A member of Three Dog Night said the original lyrics of the song were “Jeremiah was a prophet,” but no one like it. “Just make up anything.” And they did! [Wikipedia – Joy to the World (Three Dog Night song)]
In this Bible Study, I would like to introduce (or reintroduce) you to Jeremiah the Prophet and God’s plan for his life and yours as well. The words you will read weren’t just ‘made up’.
Jesus really does know who we are!
Scripture: Jeremiah 1:4-10
We read in the story of a man named Jeremiah and how God shares with him how intimately He knows him.
JEREMIAH was a prophet in Israel. A PROPHET was one who would foretell future events; he was one who would receive a specific message from God to speak to the people; all to do this by the power of God. A person never decides one day they’re going to be a prophet because somebody said they should be. You have to have a calling from God to do this. And it’s actually during Jeremiah’s calling that he discovers something amazing about God. He discovered that God really knew who he was!
Living In An Impersonal World
When you stop and think about it, when you shop, get your groceries, do your banking, go to school and do your work all in front of a computer screen without ever having to speak to another person…that’s an impersonal world we’re living in.
Living in such an isolated environment makes it difficult to imagine that there’s a God who truly knows who we are; who knows us on an intimate level. A God who knows you better than any spouse can know you, better than any parent can know you. God really knows everything there is to know about you. The God of the Universe knows everything, and I mean everything–“Oh, oh!”– about us!
Our Scripture passage points out some things concerning you and your relationship with God.
Before You Were Born God Knew You (vs. 5).
That’s truly an amazing statement and a true one. God knew you before you were born. I remember how excited my wife and I were before each of our three children were born. We couldn’t wait to see what they looked like, to see who they were. For nine months they are inside that belly and you are excited about them coming out to meet you for the first time in the recovery room and you introduce yourself to your new child. We couldn’t wait to see what they would be like. [*Note: I might be dating myself but when my kids were born the dads-to-be weren’t allowed in the delivery room.]
But the Bible says that before we were born, God knew us!
The word “know” carries with it the sense of relationship and approval. In other words, God had a STAMP OF APPROVAL on Jeremiah’s life. It means that God specifically knew Jeremiah and what he would become.
Obviously, God was speaking to Jeremiah here so you may think that God knew Jeremiah before he was born, but there’s no way that He would know you, the average Joe. However, God tells us over and over again in His word that He made us and formed us.
There’s no arguing with this Scripture. He specifically says that God knit me together in my mother’s womb.
David goes on to say, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance.”
You can’t argue the FACT that God knew you before you were born.
Another Scripture puts it quite clear for us as well.
Ephesians 2:10 (AMP)
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works, which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
WE WERE CREATED TO DO GOOD WORKS…and the Bible says that God has prepared us in advance to do those works! God didn’t just KNOW Jeremiah but He knew each and every one of us before we ever took our first breath on our own.
You might be thinking about why it’s such a big deal that God knows us.
THE BIG DEAL is, if God knows you, that means He knows what you’re going through in life. If God knows us, that means we’re not alone, you haven’t been forgotten. God knows the struggles that you are facing. God knows the temptations that you come up against. God knows your family situation and He has promised us He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Before we accept Jesus as our Savior, there’s a God that knows who you are…knows what you have need of and wants to meet those needs. God sees the life that you have come out of, but He also sees the life that you’re going into.
Being Set Apart Should Bring Us Confidence (Jeremiah 1:5)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” [NIV]
God set Jeremiah apart, meaning that God had a specific purpose in mind for Jeremiah before he was even born. In Jeremiah’s case, his designed purpose was to be a PROPHET. He was commissioned by God to spread a message of judgment to the people of Israel. Not exactly what you would call a fun message to preach. It was if God was telling Jeremiah, “I know you have got a tough message to deliver, but let me tell you something. I know you! I am not going to leave you alone, I am going to be by your side every step of the way as you deliver my message.”
Each person reading this should know that you were created for a specific reason. Each person was created on purpose for a purpose! Knowing this indicates to us that no one on the face of the Earth who is a mistake.
NO ONE accidentally came into this world.
Some parents may not have expected you, but NO ONE was an accident because God had you in mind before you were born.
Not only did He had you in mind, but He also had a purpose in mind for you when you came into the world.
We need to hear that message more often. We hear too much that we are no good; we hear that we were a mistake; we hear that we have no purpose in life, but that’s not what God says. God made it very clear in Jeremiah’s life that he was here for a purpose. He even said in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you,” says the LORD, thoughts, and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” [AMP].
God’s PLAN versus Our PLANS
God wants to encourage us and let us know that He has plans for your life. He doesn’t want you to throw in the towel. He doesn’t want you to give up and not serve Him any longer. He wants you to know today that He has plans to prosper you, not harm you. God wants to be a part of your life. He knows you and He has set you apart for His purposes. So many times we don’t realize that God has a plan for our lives so we try to fill up our lives with our own plans, which in turn leaves us empty–that we’ve failed somehow.
“An African Plant May Help Fight Fat”
I read a story this week on the CBS website about an African plant called “Hoodia” that looks like a cactus that grows wild in the desert. The plant is apparently getting a lot of attention these days because it seems to be a good food suppressant. Scientists have discovered when you eat small amounts of the plant, it leaves you with a sense of being full when in fact you’re not.
Some of us are filling up our lives with things that we think are making us full and satisfied. We’re filling our lives up with work and material things; things that physically make us feel good. It may make us feel good and full for a time, but as time goes on we’re going to discover those things don’t actually make us full; they don’t actually give us a well-balanced and full life.
JESUS CAME TO FILL US UP!
Jesus said in John 10:10 (AMP)
“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
The word “abundant” is in reference to being overfilled. There’s no way a person can have an ABUNDANT LIFE if they feel as though there’s no real purpose or meaning in their life. They will never feel “stuffed” until they know their purpose.
God told Jeremiah that He had set him apart. The phrase, “set you apart,” means to separate [sanctified in the New Testament]. In other words, God separated Jeremiah from the rest of creation for a special task. That was Jeremiah’s calling to perform a special task.
Before You Were Born, God Appointed You (Jeremiah 1:5)
According to Webster’s the word “appoint” means: “to assign officially; equip or furnish.”
We could read this Bible verse like this: “I ASSIGNED you as a prophet to the nations (people).” “I will equip or furnish you to be a prophet to the nations.”
God didn’t really give Jeremiah a say in the matter. God appointed him to be a prophet before he was even born. He equipped him to be a prophet before he was born.
“Wait a minute here,” you might be saying. “Don’t I have a choice? I’ve got my rights! I have some decisions I want to make on my own in what I do or don’t do.”
That kind of thinking is backward. The Bible is very clear that we were created for God to do with as He chooses.
Jeremiah 18:6 says:
Think about the above Bible verse for a moment. Does a ceramic bowl get that way because it chose to be a bowl? Of course not! It became a bowl because that’s what the potter wanted it to be.
“What if I don’t want to become what God wants me to be?”
You have that choice.
He will never make you do something that you don’t want to do. You don’t have to conform. If a potter gets a piece of clay that doesn’t conform to the image that he wants it to, the clay becomes useless in his hands. The problem is that the clay will miss out on being a productive vessel. I think this is one of the reasons why so many people are misled in life; why so many people feel a void in their lives. It’s because they are not doing what they were created to do. The end result of that is always frustration.
Before you were born, God appointed you to a certain task. Now the question is, are you willing to fulfill the calling that He has on your life?
“Jeremiah was a bullfrog” – Wikipedia
Photos/Images: Google Image Search.
Bible Translations: Amplified Bible (AMP); New International Version (NIV); Bible verses found in photo images are various translations.