There are those who would say that God was unfair, in that he chose this son of the patriarch to be the child from whom the line of promise would fall, while he let the descendants of Esau, the Edomites, become extinguished as were the Hittites and those who followed the error of Rehaboam. They miss the point.
Those God calls were chosen before creation. It is by the work of God we are saved, it is not our doing. None of us are worthy: Jacob certainly was not so. I will not speak of the salvation of Esau: it is for people such as him that Christ preached in Hades between death and resurrection.
What I find, fairly reliably, is that those who call God unfair and unfaithful to his promises are those who have walked away from him.
6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants will be named.” 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; 11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
We do not know who are those who have been preordained to be part of the family of God. What we do know is that some of them won’t be in the group we see, or that the evangelization that works for one person or folk will work for another. What we do know is that we have all fallen and that none of us deserve salvation: it is the choice of God that brings us to him, and he has completed our salvation already. But we are still working through the consequences of our acts, and those of others.
is from other men (and fallen angels) using their free will for evil ends. We’re victims of their decisions, though such evil does not come from God directly, since he is not capable of evil. Of course God knew that his creatures would use free will to commit evil, but He must’ve decided that His love for us, in the form of granting us free will and eternal life, would overcome any evil we would have to endure from others. The fact that I was even able to develop faith in spite of the innumerable mistakes I’ve made and rebukes I’ve suffered is a testament to His divine wisdom in making the world the way it is.
Have hope. Christ did not come to earth and die so that any man would be damned. This world wants to distract us with their new scandals, new sports, and the vices that keep us from thinking anything but how to acquire another hit, another movie, another possession, another triumph.
The good thing about hard times is that many will have those things ripped away from them. They will have to deal with their need for God, and there God will be found.
The next season, I pray, will be one of revival, beginning in me.