What Does Jeremiah 1:5 Mean?

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Jeremiah 1:5(NASB)
Picture courtesy of The Glory Story

Verse Thoughts

Jeremiah was a man who was born into the priestly line of Levi and was called to be a prophet of the Lord. He was a man who would have to endure much hardship during his life and he even witnessed the shocking ransacking of his beloved city of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and wept as he watched the destruction of the Temple of God, when his people were taken into captivity.

It is likely that Jeremiah was about 20 years old when he was called and received his commissioned to be a prophet of God.. "Before I formed you in the womb," Jeremiah was told " I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Jeremiah had a long ministry which spanned the reign of a number of kings of Judah... the first of which was king Josiah, who was crowned at the age of eight and had been on the throne of Judah for 5 years when the Lord spoke to his servant.

Although we all have an assurance that the Lord knew each one of us before were born and has scheduled each day of our lives, very few prophets were consecrated by God before they were born and appointed to be a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah did not aspire to become a prophet or attend a school of prophets to learn the skills of "profiteering" as is the case with many false prophets. He was not a prophet because of his ancestry nor did he receive it as an honorary entitlement.

Despite doubting his own ability to speak and showing concern about his age, Jeremiah had a calling on his life which was given to him by divine revelation. Although the call on Jeremiah's life was brief; devoid of great visions of heaven like Isaiah or revealed to his parents like John the Baptist, the knowledge that he had been singled out by God and set apart for an important prophetic ministry must have been a great encouragement to this young Levite.

Jeremiah may have been divinely chosen and empowered by God for his prophetic ministry but he was a man who was humanly hesitant and reluctant to take up this God-ordained role... and he was a man who had to endure much hardship during his ministry, because of his God-ordained position.

Although he was a man who had to experience much hardship, loneliness, pain and rejection and became known as 'the weeping prophet', Jeremiah was a man who was greatly used by the Lord in the furtherance of God's redemptive plan throughout his ministry and enjoyed much intimate fellowship with the Lord he served.

Just as God had a call on Jeremiah's life, He has a call on the life of all who trust in Christ by faith, and God can use anyone in the furtherance of his redemptive plan if we are willing to submit to Him and be used by Him.

My Prayer

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the reminder in Jeremiah that you formed each one of us in the womb and thank You that You have scheduled every day of my life. Thank You for the example of Jeremiah the prophet, who was willing to suffer hardship, loneliness, pain and rejection for the furtherance of Your will and to pen portions of holy Scripture for our learning. I pray that from this day forward my life may be consecrated to You and that You would use me to fulfil Your will in my life, for Your greater praise and glory - this I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN. 

Picture courtesy of The Glory Story

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