“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” (Jeremiah 1:5).
Birth is a beginning, but not the ultimate beginning. It is true for all of us that life begins before birth.
The prophet Isaiah spoke of God’s Sovereignty in his life prior to his physical birth: “Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name” (Isaiah 49:1).
The Psalmist praised God’s omnipresence, “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:1, 2). Wherever we roam, from the deepest pit to the highest peak, God is there (Psalm 139:7, 8). Darkness cannot hide us from our God, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).
This wonderful, mighty God could look upon the soul of the Psalmist as his fingers were forming (Psalm 139:15). The God who declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), knew the Psalmists steps before he had feet, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16).
When the prophesied messenger (Malachi 3:1) was being formed in his mother’s womb, he leaped for joy when Mary came to visit (Luke 1:41). Jesus, the incarnate God, had just begun his physical journey in Mary’s womb when John testified about him for the first time.
The consequences of life before birth are profound. Truly life is precious and should be cherished before birth and after.
But life is not ultimate, God is.
What life before birth points us toward is God’s majesty. If God’s knowing eye is upon us before birth, how wonderful he must be! If God’s perception of us begins before birth, how precious his thoughts are!
What a comfort to know that Jehovah sees us and knows us from the moment we are conceived and our immortal spirit is given, until the time when our spirit leaves our bodies and our bodies return to the earth.
Just as surely as life begins before birth, so life continues after death. From the countless millions whose lives ended before birth, to the billions who died sometime after their first breath, life continues. Our God knows the personalities of the precious ones we never met, and they know him.
Your life began before you were born and it will continue after you die. How you live in the in-between will determine your forever residence.