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That’s a very interesting question.  Let’s read Romans 9:10-16, “And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”

Many people have answered this question by saying, “I can understand why the Lord hated Esau, but I don’t understand why he loved Jacob.”  This speaks to the sinfulness and total depravity of all men.  We all deserve the wrath of God.  None of us deserve to be loved by God.  Yet, God loved Jacob and hated Esau.  I encourage you to read Genesis, chapters 25-27 to learn some of the history of Jacob and Esau.  That Jacob did not deserve the love of God is evident.  That Esau did not deserve the love of God is also evident.

Romans is not the first time the Bible tells us that the Lord loved Jacob, but hated Esau.  Romans 9:13 is really a quote from Malachi 1:2-3 which says, “I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”

We see from the portion in Malachi, that the Israelites, the people of God, were ungrateful for the love and favor of the Lord.  After the Lord tells them of His love for them, they reply, “Wherein hast thou loved us?”  The Lord, in His remarkable patience explains how that he chose them, the descendants of Jacob, while rejecting the Edomites, who were descended from Esau.  So the point that the Lord loved Jacob, but hated Esau, goes far beyond these two men, it includes their descendants…the Israelites and the Edomites.

The Lord goes on to speak of his eternal purpose and will in Malachi 1:4-5 where He says, “Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.”  The Edomites, as a people, were rejected by the Lord forever.  The Israelites, as a people, will always be the earthly people of God.  Does this mean that God is unrighteous?  Absolutely not!  God, as creator and Lord certainly has the right to show mercy and compassion on whoever He chooses, as we read in Romans 9:14-15.  We often define mercy as the unmerited favor of God.  “Unmerited” means undeserved.  No one deserves mercy, we all deserve judgment because of our sinfulness.  That the Lord would show mercy to anyone only speaks to His great character of being a merciful God.  As Nehemiah wrote in Nehemiah 9:31, “…for thou art a gracious and merciful God.”  We also read in Lamentations 3:22, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”

A question you might have now is does the Lord love you?  Yes he does.  Without any measure of goodness or righteousness in you, the Lord does love you because He has chosen to love you.  John 3:16 tells us clearly who the Lord loves.  It says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  God loves the world.  That means God loves everyone and that He sent His only begotten son, Jesus, into the world to die for the sins of the entire world.  1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  Propitiation is a big word that I don’t use very often.  It simply means payment.  The Lord Jesus has paid for our sins.  1 John 2:2 says, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”  Since Christ is the propitiation, or payment, for the sins of the whole world, does this mean that the whole world is saved?  No, it doesn’t.  While the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the sufficient payment for the putting away of all sin, only those who come to the Lord Jesus in faith will receive salvation.  The Lord invites everyone to come to Him and be saved.  He says in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  If you are tired of working and trying to be good; if you feel the weight of your sins, then come to the Lord Jesus.  He will give you rest.  He will save you.  Will the Lord accept everyone that comes to Him?  Absolutely!  John 6:37 says, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  2 Peter 3:9 tells us that, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  It is not the will of God that anyone should perish, or spend eternity in Hell.  Realizing your sinfulness and need of a savior, if you will trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, He will save you.  Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”