Unlimited: God’s Purpose in Election
Mar 8, 2023 504
Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand… (Romans 9:10–11).
Rebekah had two twin sons: Esau and Jacob. They were twins, however, technically Esau was born first (Gen. 24:25–26), and so he was the legal heir. The second son, Jacob, was renamed “Israel” by God later in his life. It was Israel who inherited the promise but Esau, who according to earthly descent should have inherited, did not inherit it.
Paul tells us here that the election of God over-rides earthly rules and human expectations of how God’s promises are fulfilled.
The election of God over-rides earthly rules and human expectations of how God’s promises are fulfilled.
The Jews didn’t expect the Messiah to be a humble tradesman from Nazareth. They didn’t expect him to not accept an earthly crown. They didn’t expect him to allow himself to end up on a Roman cross. Yet it was in these surprising ways that God fulfilled his greatest promise to the world. This shows us how futile it is to try to “second-guess” God, because he fulfills his promises to us in the most surprising ways.
The other key idea here is that God’s choice between Jacob and Esau wasn’t based on their performance in any way whatsoever. God chose them before they were born, and therefore before they had done anything, whether good or bad. God did this to make the point that our acceptance by him has nothing to do with our own works.
If you read the stories of Jacob and Esau, you will see that they were, in different ways, both “bad” people. What was it that made the difference in terms of their relationships with God?