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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

God's Plan from Birth, and Before

In Scripture we read that God had a plan for some people’s lives before they were born.
            Isaac was the promised son, born to Abraham and Sarah when they were 100 and 90 years old. God said Abraham's descendants would be as the stars and as the sand of the seashore. Isaac was the first.
            Isaac’s wife Rebekah was finally expecting a baby—twin babies—and God told her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger (from Genesis 25:23). Jacob became “Israel,” and Esau is the father of the Edomites.
            Samson, born to Manoah and his wife, was a miracle child (born to a woman who couldn’t conceive before). Before Samson’s conception, an angel appeared and told his mother she would have a child, and that he would be a Nazirite from his birth. The angel told her further that Samson would begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines (Judges 13:5). His purpose in life was outlined by God before his conception.
            Hannah prayed earnestly for a child, and she promised she would give him back to God. God honored that prayer by giving her Samuel, who served God in the Temple from his youth and then became a judge and a prophet. Then, God gave her five more children. (Hannah’s prayer and Samuel’s birth are in 1 Samuel 1.)
            Jeremiah was called from the womb to be a prophet. Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations (Jeremiah 1:5).
            Isaiah somehow knew his life purpose was determined before his birth. He knew he was to be a prophet to Israel. Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. (Isaiah 49:1,5)
            John the Baptist was given miraculously to a lady who previously had no children. What’s more, Elisabeth was an older lady, and her husband likewise was well stricken in years (Luke 1:7). The angel Gabriel told Zacharias as he was serving God in the Temple that he and his wife would have a son, that they should name him John, and that they would have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1:14b-17). Can you imagine? He was told his child would be the precursor to the Messiah! John would be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb. (Remember how the baby John jumped for joy when Mary visited Elisabeth? Luke 1:41-44)
            Jesus, the Holy Son of God, was the most special Baby of all. Many hundreds of years before His birth, His coming was prophesied. The Jewish people in particular were anxiously looking for the Messiah. Before His birth, his conception was announced to Mary by Gabriel and then later to Joseph, so that he would take care of Mary and Baby Jesus. As soon as Anna and Simeon saw the Baby, they rejoiced in their Messiah. Shepherds and Wise Men worshipped Him. God’s plan for the redemption of sinful people was all wrapped up in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Amazing! Wonderful! Halelujah!

            Though there will never be another John the Baptist or Jesus Christ, God has a special plan for each of us, too. We may not be like Isaiah and see the whole outline of it. We might not be told it, like Samson’s parents. But God has a purpose for each life, each baby who is born. Each adult has a mission, something he’s to fulfill in God’s great scheme.
            How can we know it? Be in the Word. Read the Bible daily, and obey it. We trust the Lord to show us what He wants us to do today. We trust Him to lead us in His perfect plan.
            Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

1 comment:

  1. Amen! I pray that God will lead me in the way He wants me to go! Praise Him!


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