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Build Your Bible Power

Born for a Reason

God knew each of us before we were born. Can you match these men of the Bible with the words that were spoken concerning their births? (Clues: One name is used twice; there are more names than needed)

Jacob, Jeremiah, Paul, Isaac, Ishmael, David, Jesus, Samson, Esau, Moses, Isaiah, John the Baptist
  1. Before __________ was born, his parents were told he would "go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah ? to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
  2. When God called ___________, he told him, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
  3. "O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." These beautiful words written by __________ describe God's intimate knowledge of each and every life.
  4. Two biblical mothers (one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament) responded with incredulity when told by God that they would bear a son. The reply to each woman was similar: "Nothing is impossible with God" and "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" The sons were ___________ and ___________.
  5. Hundreds of years before Jesus' birth, ___________ wrote these prophetic words about the Son of God: "I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."
  6. Two men (__________ from the Old Testament and __________ from the New) were born to childless parents who were told that their son "is never to take wine or other fermented drink" and "he is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth."
  7. "God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles," said __________.

Answers to Build Your BIBLE POWER

1. John the Baptist (Luke 1:13-17). Jesus confirmed John's calling when he said, "This is the one about whom it is written: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you' ? And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come" (Matt. 11:10, 14).

2. Jeremiah (Jer. 1:5). Jeremiah witnessed the defeat of his nation, the captivity of his people, and the destruction of God's temple. He personally suffered ridicule, starvation, and imprisonment. But God assured Jeremiah that he had appointed him for the task.

3. David (Psa. 139:1, 13). David expresses wonder at the fact that God knows everything we do, think, and say?a resounding affirmation that in God's eyes, the child in the womb is a person, intimately known by him.

4. Isaac and Jesus (Gen. 18:14; Luke 1:37). Humanly, it was impossible for either woman to conceive?Sarah "was past the age of childbearing" (Gen. 18:11), and Mary was a virgin (Luke 1:34). Both sons were born miraculously.

5. Isaiah (Isa. 49:6). The apostle Paul quoted Isaiah's prophecy to prove to his fellow Jews that it had long been God's plan to open the way of salvation to the Gentiles through his Son (Acts 13:47).

6. Samson and John the Baptist (Judges 13:5; Luke 1:15). People who took a Nazirite vow couldn't drink wine, cut their hair or beard, or come into contact with a dead body (Num. 6:1-21). This special vow of separation was to be a lifetime vow for Samson (who would "begin the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines") and John (who would "make ready a people prepared for the Lord").

7. Paul (Gal. 1:15-16). When God prepared Ananias to restore Paul's sight, he told Ananias, "This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings" (Acts 9:15). Later, God revealed the same calling to Paul himself (Acts 22:21) and to others about Paul (Gal. 2:7).

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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