TITLE: “Chosen Before the Foundation of the Earth”
GREEK WORD WITH ENGLISH TRANSLITERATION: (eklego)
STRONG’S CONCORDANCE #: 1586
MEANING: one who has been selected
BACKGROUND OF WORD (ETYMOLOGY): this Greek word was a common word in the Greek culture when describing selecting something from a group of items; had the idea of showing favor towards or having preference towards one over another; the original word did not have the concept of rejection for cause. The word would come to mean selecting a group of people for a specific purpose.
HOW TRANSLATED IN KJV, NASB AND/OR ESV: elect; called; chosen
# OF TIMES USED IN THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT: 21
KEY VERSE IN THE BIBLE WHERE GREEK WORD USED:
Ephesians 1:4 – “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” KJV
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:
From time to time, someone says, “My parents didn’t plan me. I was an accident no one expected.” People use this as an excuse for not accepting more responsibility in life, claiming that they are accidents who came into the world by mistake and aren’t even supposed to be here!
Well, I want to tell you that even though we may have been a surprise to our parents, we were not a surprise to God! The Bible teaches that long before you or I were ever conceived in our mothers’ wombs, God already knew us and was calling us to be His children with a special purpose to fulfill in this world.
In Psalms 139:15-16, David declares that God’s eyes were fixed on us not only when we were in the earliest stages of being formed in our mother’s womb, but even before we were conceived. David said concerning himself (and us), “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
According to David, God knew us when we were nothing more than mere “substance” in the earliest stages of being formed in our mothers’ wombs. God was so intricately aware of us that He took note as our arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes were being formed. In fact, this verse says He even knew us “…when as yet there was none of them” in existence! Think of it! Long before we were conceived, God already knew of us — and by faith He could see us being conceived, formed, and born into this world. This means there isn’t a single human being on the earth who was a surprise to God, and that includes you!
Those of us who are believers were also saved by no accident. Paul writes, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world….” The word “chosen” in Greek is eklego — a compound of the words ek and lego. The word ek means out, and the word lego means to call. Together these words literally mean “to call out” or “to be called out”. It can also mean to select, to elect, or to personally choose.
In classical Greek writings, this word eklego referred to a person or a group of people who were selected for a specific purpose. For example, the word eklego was used for the selection of men for military service. It was also used to denote soldiers who were chosen out of the entire military to go on a special mission or to do a special task. Finally, it was used for politicians who were elected by the general public to hold a public position or to execute a special job on behalf of the community.
In every case where the word eklego in the Greek New Testament is used to portray the election or selection of individuals, it conveys the idea of the great privilege and honor of being chosen. It also strongly speaks of the responsibility placed on those who are chosen to walk, act, and live in a way that is honorable to their calling. Because of the great privilege of being elected to a higher position or selected to perform a special task, those who are “chosen” bear a responsibility to walk and act in accordance with the calling that has been extended to them. They should look upon themselves as chosen, honored, esteemed, and respected — special representatives of the one who elected them!
So when Paul says that God “…hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world…,” he is saying that God looked out to the horizon of human history — and He saw us! And when God saw us, His voice echoed forth from Heaven: “Come Out!” In that flash, our destinies were divinely sealed! We were separated by God from a lost and dying world, and He called us to be His own.
Just as the word eklego in classical Greek times depicted the military selection of young men to leave their homes and come serve in the military, God looked out at the human race and personally selected, elected, and specially chose us to come away from the world and be permanently enlisted as His sons and daughters! Now as children of the King, we bear the awesome responsibility of walking worthily of the high calling we have received!
Look at when this selection took place. Paul says it occurred “…before the foundation of the world….” The word “foundation” is the Greek word katabole, a compound of the words kata and bole. The word kata means down, and the word bole means to hurl or to throw. These two words together mean to forcibly hurl something down, and it refers to the act of creation.
Thus, before God ever spoke the earth into existence — before His booming voice ever called out for the first layers of the earth’s crust to be put into place — He had already spoken our names! He selected and elected us before the very first layers of the earth were created.
In light of these Greek meanings, Ephesians 1:4 could be phrased to read: “When God saw us, He said, ‘Come out, I say!’ In that moment, He separated us from the rest of the world and enlisted us in His service. And think of it! He did all of this before He ever hurled the first layers of the earth’s crust into existence….”
So if your flesh ever tries to rant and rave that you’re not worthy enough to be used or that you’re just an accident, you need to take authority over your flesh and tell it to stop! Then you need to declare, “God chose me, and He planned a great future for me. He wants to use me. I’m not going to listen anymore to this foul garbage from my lying flesh and unrenewed emotions. I have an awesome destiny! In fact, I’m a significant part of God’s plan!”
Don’t listen to your filthy, stinking, lying, fibbing flesh anymore! God has been waiting for your arrival for a very long time! It’s time for you to accept His assignment and make the necessary changes to flow with His program. He’s calling out to you all the time, saying, “Get up and jump in the race! I want you. I’m calling you to be a part of My team.”
There is too much at stake for you to make the mistake of sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself. You’ll only begin to experience true significance when you accept the fact that God has chosen you, and when you begin to live up to the glorious calling He has placed on your life! No matter how large or small the task, no matter how big or tiny the assignment, joy and satisfaction will be yours when you start accomplishing what God brought you into this world to do.
This is what imparts true significance to any person’s life. No satisfaction compares with this satisfaction. Those who contribute nothing to life are usually the ones who struggle with a sense of purposelessness.
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK:
Even if you think your gifts are small in comparison to others, you can still use them! If you use the gifts God gave you, they will increase. And the more proficient you become at using those gifts, the more valuable you will become to your family, your church, your business, and your friends. On the other hand, you will cause your life to be inconsequential if you ignore the gifts God gave you and minimize the life assignment He has entrusted to you.
A person’s life becomes pointless when he or she contributes nothing to the world. Don’t let that describe YOUR life! God didn’t bring you into the world so you would live a pointless and inconsequential life! He has a purpose for your life. He wants to use you! He wants you to be a significant part of His plan!
Recognize today that you are no accident and no mistake! God knew you before the earth was created; He called you before you were formed in your mother’s womb; and He awaited arrival on planet earth! God has a plan for you! You are purposeful; and you need to walk in a way that honors the One who called and anointed you to be enlisted in His service!
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
1. Have you ever been tempted to think that your life was pointless and inconsequential? What happens in your life most often that triggers these negative emotions?
2. Can you think of a time when you were supernaturally illuminated to the call of God on your life? When that happened, what did you understand was the chief purpose that God had for you in this lifetime?
3. If you have been struggling with feelings of purposelessness or of inferiority toward other people, what are you going to do to stop these negative emotions from affecting you in an adverse way?
PRAYER FOR THE WEEK:
Lord, I am so glad that You knew me and called me even before I was conceived in my mother’s womb. According to Your Word, I am no mistake; therefore, I ask You to help me start looking at my life with respect, esteem, and honor. You called me, and You have an awesome plan for my life. I ask You to help me uncover that plan so I can get started on the road of obedience toward the fulfillment of what You brought me into this world to do! I pray this in Jesus’ name! Amen.