Thursday, June 2, 2011
Jacob Have I loved!
Romans 9:13 Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated.
A few thoughts here. The word “hated” here in Romans is the Greek word “miseō” which is a comparative word meaning “to despise” or “to love less”. In the context of the passage, God, through Paul, is showing how God chose Jacob over Esau as the one through whose seed the Messiah would come. There is no doubt that God loved Esau’s soul, but He despised his ways, i.e. selling his birthright for a bowl of soup. God was in no way pleased with the chicanery of Jacob either, but He looks beyond what we are and sees what we can become.
Because God is love, that does not mean He cannot hate. If we do a study of the things and even the people God hates in the Bible, it is a bit shocking for the weak of heart. But we find that perfect love demands a hatred toward that which is destructive toward the objects of His passion.
Fast forward a few millennium and look at the harm inflicted upon the apple of God’s eye, the chosen people, by the offspring of Esau (and Uncle Ishmael) and we can better understand how He “loves less” or even “despises” those who seek to annihilate them. Think: Nazis, Communists, mass murderers and their ilk. Think: Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Charles Manson, Lenin, etc.
God loves these abusers enough to save their souls, if they would but repent and trust in His Son. But when they continue in their bent to destroy God’s work and His people, they place themselves in the path of God’s despite.
But I digress. The passage in question deals more with God’s unconditional choice, that is, Jacob over Esau, than it does the acts and emotions of love and hatred.