Timeless truths about election. Does God predestine some for salvation and others for condemnation? Romans 9-11 are three chapters that deal with God’s covenant with Israel. God chose Israel. Now that the church has been established, Paul states the obvious question: Has God turned away from His covenant with Israel?
The answer is NO. Paul clearly states in these chapters that God is using the salvation of the Gentiles to create jealousy in the heart of Israel.
Let’s dive in and explore the context of the passage. God created a nation through Abraham and his son Isaac. Rebekah, Isaac’s wife, was pregnant with twins. The nation Israel would continue through the bloodline of only one of the twins. The oldest was Esau and the youngest Jacob. It was traditional for the eldest son to receive the blessing and lead the family. Isaac was prepared to bless Esau as the leader of the nation. However, God chose Jacob before they were born. Why?
God is demonstrating that He does not operate according to man’s ways. In His sovereignty, God could have caused Isaac to be born first. But that would have defeated God’s purpose. God wanted to demonstrate that His choice was not based on anything either one of them had done. God also revealed that WHO the nation would flow through was not up to man. It was God’s choice. This is not a matter of individual salvation. It is a matter of God’s election of a Nation.
“For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election might stand — not from works but from the One who calls — she was told: The older will serve the younger. As it is written: I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.” Romans 9:11-13 HCSB
God did not literally “hate” Esau. God is using a hyperbole to emphasize HIS choice. See Matthew 10:37. Did God really hate Esau? NO. God had compassion on Esau. But compared to His choice of Isaac, Esau had no chance. Why? So that the purpose of God might be demonstrated. What is the purpose of God? To demonstrate His Grace!
By the way, not everyone born in Israel was a “true” Israeli. Only those who believed God as Abraham believed. That means that the individuals in the Nation Israel made a choice about believing in God. Just because they were born offspring to Abraham did not automatically make them “saved.” While God chose a nation, Israel, and those through whom the seed of Israel would flow, He did not “elect” all the individuals in Israel to salvation. Jesus called the very Jewish Pharisees the sons of hell. They were part of the chosen nation but they did not know God our submit to Him.