Romans 9: Part 2
Romans 9:10-15: Not only that, but also Rebecca conceived children with one man, our ancestor Isaac. When they hadn’t been born yet and when they hadn’t yet done anything good or bad, it was shown that God’s purpose would continue because it was based on his choice. It wasn’t because of what was done but because of God’s call. This was said to her: The older child will be a slave to the younger one. As it is written, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau. So what are we going to say? Isn’t this unfair on God’s part? Absolutely not! He says to Moses, I’ll have mercy on whomever I choose to have mercy, and I’ll show compassion to whomever I choose to show compassion.Has it ever struck you that God’s choice of Jacob over Esau was unfair? I think we could think that. I’m betting Esau thought that!
But have you ever seen this story as an example of the idea that God’s mercy does not depend on what we do? God chose Jacob to carry forward his purpose even before Jacob was born. God’s choice did not depend – at all – on Jacob’s ability or Jacob’s actions or Esau’s sins. The writer of the student book I used in Sunday school said, “God’s mercy, thankfully, does not depend on anything we do; neither our desire nor our effort matter.”
What do you think of that? Is it fair? No, it absolutely is not fair. And yet it is the way it is. And, I think all of us can praise God for it. We really don’t want God to be fair. We don’t want what we earn. We desire mercy; we need it.