God Knows You
The Hebrew word for know is yada (יָדַע). As in English, yada has a wide range of meanings from knowing someone intimately to knowing about them; from knowing how to do something to perceiving, learning, and experiencing something.
Yada appears 947 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, but we’ll focus here on what God knows about us and what it could mean that He knew us before He knit us in our mother's womb.
In Scripture, we see that God has intimate knowledge of us at the depth of our character and soul:
He knows the hearts of all men (1 Kings 8:39; 2 Chronicles 6:30), those who are His servants (2 Samuel 7:20; Nahum 1:7; 1 Chronicles 17:18) and those who are false, vain, and deceitful (Job 11:11).
He keeps the lowly close to His thoughts, but only knows the haughty from afar (Psalm 138:6).
He knows our words before they are spoken (Psalm 139:4) and the distresses of our lives (Psalm 31:7).
And He knows you,“Even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30)
There is nothing that we can say, think, or do that God doesn’t know!
And as David sings in Psalm 139:7: “Where can I flee from your presence?”
What could that mean?
Many Jews speak of the pre-existence of souls This is not found in the Hebrew Scriptures, we do see it appear in gnostic writings, apocryphal books, and in Jewish literature from at least the 4th century BC. And it has continued until today.
For instance, a Jewish parable (midrash) tells us that “all the souls that have come into existence since Adam, and which` will be till the end of the world, were created in the six days of creation, all were in the Garden of Eden and at the giving of the Torah.
Over time, Jewish literature found a place for these souls to rest, a heavenly storehouse called a guf (literally, body), where souls wait to be assigned to their life vessels on earth.
This idea of a guf has become mainstream Jewish thinking today, and it forms part of the Jewish teaching on reincarnation, a popular idea among Orthodox and secular Jewish communities alike.
However, reincarnation is not found in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament).
We can confidently know that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
And King Solomon wrote: “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5–6)
"And the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it." (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
There is another explanation for how God knew Jeremiah and even King David before they were born—one found in the Hebrew Scriptures alone. God is Omniscient which is the Driving Force of Bible Prophecy. His “all-knowingness” is outside of time.
God knows the past and future as NOW.
“I am God, and there is no one like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My purpose shall stand, and I will fulfill my intention.’” (Isaiah 46:9–10; see also Isaiah 37:26)
God’s all-knowingness, in fact, is the driving force behind Messianic prophecy.
God’s omniscience is how He could meticulously appoint types and shadows of the Messiah (Deliverer/Redeemer) at key times along Israel’s history, such as Abraham and the binding of Isaac (Genesis 22), Joseph and the salvation of his family (Genesis 37–50), Moses and the first Passover (Exodus 12), King David and his kingdom (2 Samuel 7).
God’s omniscience is how He could describe over millennia Messiah’s birth (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6), suffering and atonement (Isaiah 52:13–53:12), timing of His death (Daniel 9:26), as well as His coming again (Zechariah 12:10) and see it come to pass, just as He defined it.
Within the many meanings of God knowing Jeremiah beforehand—his character, his words, his whole life—is the idea that God also chose Jeremiah to be uniquely himself and to do certain things - to have a PURPOSE - in his life. We see this pattern throughout the Bible: First God chooses someone. Second, He sanctifies or sets the person apart. Third, He appoints them to service.
When Yeshua chose His disciples, He set them apart as His students, and appointed them for a purpose.
When God chose the Jewish People, for example, He set them apart in the Land of Israel and gave them a purpose: to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation that would bring others to the knowledge of the one true God of Israel and His coming Messiah.