11 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— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
As I (and many at church) contemplate and struggle with the concept of election by God, there are several facets to this. As the pastor pointed out, a lot of our consternation with this and God’s sovereignty is perspective. He pointed out that we often feel like we choose God, and from a certain perspective (ours) this is true. Also, we feel like we deserve the salvation He has to offer. We don’t, and in so many ways, we run from God. It is Him who grabs us up and saves us from our running from Him, from His point of view. So, we balance God’s sovereignty with our free will, and now my mind gets boggled.
Personally, I resolve this boggling of the mind, whether theologically correct or not, I don’t know, through my thinking that God is indeed powerful and affects change as He wills, but He also chooses to let us make up our own mind and let thinks happen as we will. Ultimately, he is in control in His choosing to yield because He is omniscient and already knows the end of the matter, but we just because he knows the end doesn’t mean He has us by the strings each moment, but rather that He wants us to love Him and worship Him freely and by His merit.
Another thought on these verses is that Jacob and Esau were chosen before they had merit. God can use us in spite of ourselves and our merits. He doesn’t ask for the brightest and best, but rather he asks for obedience. And many times he uses us in spite of our disobedience.
Wow! What deep concepts we have when we think about the complexity of our relationship with God and His relationship with all of creation.