– by Prof Gerrie Bester
We are studying the deeper revelation of Jeremiah 1:5. Last month we learnt that in this passage of Scripture, at least four things happen to us prior to our physical birth on this earth. We saw this amazing picture of how Abba Father says that before we were formed, He knew us. We looked at the deeper meaning of “to know.” Next, we need to look at the second thing this Scripture teaches us: the part where we are formed.
‘I formed thee’
The Hebrew word translated as the word “formed” in this Scripture is the word ‘Yatzar,’ which literally means “squeezing into shape.” It is the picture of a potter forming and moulding a lump of clay into a desired shape. We know that the Word of God teaches us that He is the Potter and we are the clay (Isaiah 64:8). He forms us and moulds us for the dream He has over us. That is the physical part of our forming.
Looking at the Hebrew meaning
Yatzar – however – has a deeper meaning than merely forming or shaping the vessel. Yatzar also means “to mould into purpose.” This means that this action does not only consist of the forming of the physical ‘container’ or vessel, so to speak, but also reveals the character and gifts that Abba Father has in store for us. In the womb, He already moulded the dream and purpose that He has planned for us into shape. How sovereign and glorious is our God? Abba Father will not create us with a purpose without equipping us with the character, skills, talents, and gifts to accomplish this purpose – should we live a life of covenant and obedience in Him.
God has equipped us already
An example to illustrate the concept of Yatzar can be explained as follows: Let’s say a potter plans to make a teapot. As part of the moulding process, he will – in accordance to its purpose (which is to pour) – plan the spout of the teapot. The spout is essential in the purpose of the teapot, which is the pouring of tea. If he was to make a teapot from clay and neglect to form the spout as part of the ‘full dream’ of the teapot, accomplishing full purpose would be a ‘messy business.’ We can use this picture to understand the Hebrew concept of Yatzar. Abba Father will not have a purpose and dream for any of us, but neglect to equip us with the talents, spiritual gifts, and authority to accomplish this purpose when walking in covenant with Him.
‘I sanctified thee’
The third thing that is revealed in Jeremiah 1:5, that happens prior to our birth, is the fact that Abba Father says He sanctifies us. The Hebrew word for sanctify is the word ‘Kadash’, related to the Hebrew word ‘kadosh,’ which means holy. The word kadash means “to pronounce clean”, “to be separated” or “to be holy”. Abba Father calls us to be holy (1 Peter 1:16). We have to understand that to be holy is not to be perfect. That is not Abba Father’s definition of holy. It means to be set apart for our Groom, dedicated to living a life of seeking Him in all we do.
God set us apart for Him
In this concept of kadash, we see that Abba Father – before we were born – declared and pronounced us clean and set apart for Him. This is why we look at a newborn baby and without a shadow of a doubt see the purity of Abba Father shine forth. In the beauty of holding a baby in your arms, you see the word kadash come to life as you find yourself staring at a bundle of joy, perfectly created, pronounced clean by Abba Father. The enemy corrupts this pureness from the heart of Abba Father through temptation and sin, which we all fall into as he tries to steal what God has set apart for Him. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but that is why Abba Father sent His Son to die for us on the Cross and when we are reborn, we are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.
1 John 1:7 says: “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
Feature Image: Painting by Ilse Kleyn, visit artofkleyn.co.za
Article source: JOY! Magazine