Romans 9:13-16 (HCSB)
As it is written: I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.
What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! For He tells Moses:
I will show mercy
to whom I will show mercy,
and I will have compassion
on whom I will have compassion.
So then it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy.
One of the harder concepts of the book of Romans to come to terms with is that God’s mercy is shown to whom God desires to give it, and it’s not shown according to our own personal preference. The problem is not with God’s preference, but with ours.
In the same letter, the apostle Paul reminds the Christian…
Romans 12:2 (HCSB)
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
The point of mind renewal is acquiescing our preferences to God’s. Those who prefer that which is in opposition to God are in rebellion to Him. Being renewed of mind allows one to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. When this happens, His mercy is then appreciated and applauded by those who are not conformed to this age. Such people love God, and are encouraged when they read…
Romans 8:28 (HCSB)
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.
For those who do not love God, this encouragement does not apply. And, why would it? Are we to expect that those who hate God are to have all things work together for the good?
The Preference of God
When we start to see things according to the preference of God, His desires suddenly become more reasonable than anything else we could have ever dream up on our own; making obedience to Him all the more preferable to us who are called according to His purpose...
Romans 16:25-27 (HCSB)
Now to Him who has power to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation about Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith among all nations — to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ — to Him be the glory forever! Amen.
Godspeed, to the brethren!