Romans 9:10-14: “…when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad — in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls — she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger’. As it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated’. What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!
On the first day that my parents tried to teach me to drive, I had barely gotten out of the driveway when someone ran in front of the car and I had to slam on the brakes. The book of Malachi is like that. Only a few sentences into the book, God says he hated one brother named Esau, but loved another brother named Jacob. This statement is quoted by the Apostle Paul in his treatise on election and predestination in Romans 9. So, we need to slam on the brakes and take a look at this issue before we keep rolling along in Malachi.
The story of Abraham is this: He’s a godless man. He comes from a godless family. We read in Joshua 24:2 that his dad was a godless man. Abraham’s family is listed in Genesis 10–11. Generation after generation of the men in his family are godless sinners stacked up like cord wood for the flames of hell.
Then, God shows up and says, “I pick Abraham.” He’s not a great guy. God doesn’t pick us because we’re great; God picks us because He’s great. God is saying, I’ll start with Abraham, and I promise to give him a son. And through that son, I’m going to bring a nation. And through that nation, I’m going to bring Jesus.
Abraham is a Gentile, not a Jew. He’s saved by faith. He trusts in the promises of the God of the Bible. He circumcises himself and the nation is born. The Jewish people begin. The promise was given that he would have a son, even though his wife is barren and they’re elderly. This is going to take a miracle. But if God needs to pull off a miracle to give you a legacy, He’s glad to do that. Abraham and Sarah had a son. What was his name? Isaac, which means laughter, because God always gets the last laugh, right? That’s how it works. And then Abraham dies, and he leaves a son and grandsons, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob had a brother named Esau.
These are both bad boys. See, religion teaches, “God loves the good people.” Well, then God doesn’t love anybody. Say, “God loves bad people. Yay, there’s hope for me.” So, God chose to work through the bad guy Jacob instead of the bad buy Esau so that Jesus could come as the good guy who saves bad guys.
What would you be doing right now if you were not chosen and saved by God?