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There are seven people that we read of in the Bible who God named before birth.
Are they all Jews? No.
Are they all Christians? No.
Did God have a plan for their lives? Yes.
Isaac and Ishmael
The first two babies we read about in the book of Genesis. Both babies had the same father.
Abram was given the promise by God that nations would come from him. At that time he had no children, his wife Sarai was barren.
They waited 25 years for the promised child, Isaac to be born.
About 13 years before Isaac’s birth, Sarai made a plan. She was barren and old and did not see how God could fulfil his promise. So she “helped God’s prophesy to be fulfilled” by giving her servant Hagar to Abraham to conceive a child.
Things did not go well between Hagar and her mistress Sarai and Hagar left. In the desert she met the Angel of the Lord who told her to go back……
And the Angel of the Lord said to her: “Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your affliction. (Genesis 16:11 NKJV)
When Abram was 99 years old, God formalized the covenant with Abram. He changed their names from Abram to Abraham and from Sarai to Sarah.
He promised Abraham his long awaited child.
Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. (Genesis 17:19 NKJV)
Solomon was the third child God named before his birth.
Solomon was the son of King David and Bathsheba.
He became king and because he asked the Lord for wisdom, the Lord gave him everything.
Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days (1 Chronicles 22:9 NKJV).
The Lord gave Josiah his name 32 years before his birth.
He became King at the age of 8 years old and reigned for many years.
He was one of the few kings that obeyed God and did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord, and said, “O altar, altar! Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.’ ” (1 Kings 13:2(NKJV).
Cyrus was not an Israelite; he was king of Persia, but he was a servant of the Lord.
The Lord used him as a mighty tool in the returning of the Jews to Israel to rebuild the temple and the walls of Jerusalem.
His birth and name was prophesied 173 years before he was born.
“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held— to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut: ‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, tThat you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob My servant’s sake, aAnd Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’ (Isaiah 45:1–7 NKJV).
John the Baptist
Then the new era began after 400 years of silence since the last prophet Malachi.
The birth of John the Baptist was announced, who would prepare the way for the Lord.
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John (Luke 1:13 NKJV).
And last but definitely not the least is Jesus Christ our Savior.
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33 NKJV)
There are other children named by God after birth, for example Hosea’s children.These 7 children God named before they were born.