Paul brings us something very interesting to contemplate today. Who deserves salvation? Why one person and not the other? I don’t know that I have the answer but we are going there anyway.
The last time we met we looked at the fact that God “foreknew” who would choose to follow Him. Today’s reading gives me pause to reconsider that point. I still hold to the basis of God knew from the beginning but why didn’t He put more “ah ha” moments in everyone’s path so we would ALL turn to Him? Why do some people seem born to be born again and others seem to be damned from birth?
Let’s take Paul’s example of Jacob and Esau. Both had the same parents who taught them both about God. But God told Rebekah personally that Jacob would be the one He blessed. I don’t know if Rebekah told Isaac that or not but he didn’t treat Jacob the same as Rebekah did. Isaac had his mind set on doing things his way or the traditional way. But that wasn’t the way God chose to do things.
Neither of the two boys had done anything to earn God’s favor when He made that promise. I’m inclined to look back at our last explanation of God’s foreknowledge of these men for His proclamation to Rebekah. But if He had told her that Esau would be His favorite would the outcome have been different? It almost feels like God set up this rivalry from the beginning with each parent picking their favorite.
Jacob was no angel in his dealings with his brother. He went along with his mother’s schemes and invented a few of his own. But he did follow the commands given to him by his mother regarding God’s direction for him, including where to look for a wife. He also sought after God in his later years.
When Esau and Jacob met up again much later, Esau had dropped his anger towards Jacob. Did Esau also seek God the way his father and grandfather had done? We know Esau was prosperous when they met up so God must have blessed what he was doing, but he still wasn’t the one who would receive the promise.
Paul is SO right when he says that none of us deserve God’s love and mercy. But it hurts thinking about how the different paths that God lays out for our lives don’t lead us all to the same encounter with Him. God actually tells us that He puts evil in place for a purpose. Jesus chose Judas as part of His inner circle for a reason. Jesus didn’t make Judas evil, but He used the evil in Judas’ heart for God’s plan.
I will probably have to wait until I meet God face to face to truly understand this dichotomy. Until then, I will thank God for His mercy that He shows to EVERYONE who asks. That much I know is fact. As to why one asks and not another, God only knows.
Father God, thank You for putting in my path the right events and individuals to bring me to You. Thank You for choosing me even before I chose You. Thank You for giving me a heart to listen to You calling. Thank You for Your mercy. I KNOW I don’t deserve it but I’m going to grab onto it with both hands anyway. Please Lord put events and individuals in the paths of my children and grandchildren that bring them to You too. I don’t know exactly how Your balance works but I do know that You hear my prayers.