What did God mean when he said, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee" in Jeremiah 1:5?

Were we with God (like spirits) before he made Heaven and Earth or were we just a thought in his mind before he formed us in the belly?

Jeremiah 1:5

ESV - 5 "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."

Clarify Share Report Asked August 17 2019 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that the statement in Jeremiah 1:5 does not reflect any pre-natal existence on the part of any of us, but instead is a product of God's omnisicence.

Nothing takes God by surprise. Even before a person is conceived or born on earth, God is aware of everything that that person will do, say, or think during the person's entire earthly life. However, that foreknowledge does not compromise human free will, or relieve humans of responsibility for their actions, because God (unlike humans) is also outside of earthly time. Anything that has ever happened from eternity past, or that is happening "now" (from our perspective), or that will ever happen into eternity future, is (from God's point of view) occurring in the present.

Just as we would not say that someone who merely observes an event as it happens on earth is causing that event, God's omniscience does not imply that humans become automatons who have no power of choice.

August 18 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Shirley H Wife, mother, veteran in the spiritual war we all face!
I believe that every individual is a product of God's creative activity. Each one formed, known of God. By Christ's blood, as followers, believers, we are sanctified. Then we are "ordained" to go and tell the truth, just like Jeremiah.

Mark 16:15, "And he said to them, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

God knows everyone intimately. He is God! He gives us choice. But we are all called.

I believe that He knows all the personalities, and who will be born. That is, barring sinful human interferences.

August 21 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Gary Wofford
This is a very similar statement to the fact that Christ was a Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. God knew before the world was formed that we would sin, planned for eternity to provide a way for salvation, and did that through His act to allow Christ to be sacrificed on the cross. 

In the same way, this simply states that for eternity He planned us, He knew us, and placed us in the woman to be carried and born. God is a very personal God and knows each of us. We have been part of the plan for eternity past, present, and future. We should not foil that plan for salvation, but cooperate with His plan that He made billions of years ago for us, specifically.

August 23 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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