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God Knew Us Before We Were Born: Why Jeremiah 1:5 Brings Us Peace

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The comforting sentiment that God knew us before we were born is not just a feel-good message.  It is one of hope and strength and one that should bring us peace. 

Let’s take a closer look at what God meant when He said “Before you were born I knew you” and why this is important to how we view ourselves.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”  (Jeremiah 1:5)

I Knew You Before You Were Born

It is easy to get caught up in the crazy of everyday life.  Whether your crazy is joyful or full of fear and anxiety, it consumes your thoughts and influences your actions.  I want us to take a step back for a moment and look at a much bigger picture.

As humans, we are limited in our knowledge, time, perspective, and abilities.  We are born, live, and die usually within a span of 100 years.  100 years is nothing in the large expanse of time that surrounds our physical world.

Think about everyone that has lived before you.  Thousands of years of people on earth, working, playing, making good choices and poor ones.  Thousands of years of people falling in love, having children, losing those they care about.

And God knew you.

David praises God for his personal knowledge of man when he pens Psalm 139.

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written.”  (vs 13-16)

Why did God say He knew us before we were born?

We know God as an almighty supreme being.  Why did God say He knew us before we were born?

God wants us to see Him as a God that is personal, one that has contact with His people.  David continues in Psalm 139:

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.  (verses 17-18)

Not only did God know us in our mother’s womb, but his thoughts toward us are precious.  Being the amazing creator that he is, he doesn’t stop there.  He also has a plan for our lives.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Jeremiah 1:5 talks about how God had chosen Jeremiah to be a prophet before he was even born.  His plan and purpose was established from the very beginning.  Isaiah also speaks of God’s plan for his life that was established before he was born.

“And now the Lord says,
Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him,
So that Israel is gathered to Him
(For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord,
And My God shall be My strength)  (Isaiah 49:5)

Resting in the Peace of “Before you were born, I knew you”

If you are doubting that God is with you or doubting who you are in Christ, meditate on these truths.

  • God knew us before we were born.

We see this in the verses above.  God knew you and formed you in your mother’s womb.  He knew you before your mother did and his words to Joshua are relevant for you too. 

He will never leave you or forsake you.  “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”  (Joshua 1:5)

  • God has a plan for your life.  Not just a plan for next week or next month, but a purpose for your life.

 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”  (Ephesians 1:3-6)

  • God is working all things for your good.  I remember when I lost my beautiful 8 year old daughter in an accident, the following verse was like a slap in the face.
    How could taking my daughter from me be working all things for my good?  I can testify today that God is faithful to His word and if you are in a rough place, you can rest in this truth.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified”  (Romans 8:28-30)

  • We serve a personal God.  One who hears us when we pray, comforts us when we cry, and rejoices with us when we are glad.

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  (Hebrews 4:14-16)

  • God’s love and purpose for our lives do not end when we leave this earth.  His real plan is to bring you to salvation that you may live with Him for all eternity.

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”  (John 14:2-3)

So, dear friends, rest in the knowledge that God knew us before we were born and is walking beside us through this journey we call life.



  • Heather Chapman

    Hi, I’m Heather from Lessons from Home.  I’m in love with my five kids, homeschooling, and all things chocolate.  At lessons from home I share my homeschooling and parenting journey along with the lessons God teaches me as I learn to follow Him wherever He leads.  Healing from loss is a major part of my story as my family walks the dark path of grief after losing my beautiful 8 year old daughter. 

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