Monday, March 12, 2007

Esau I hated…

Esau I hated…

This phrase is found in two places, once in Malachi 1:2-3 and in Romans 9:13.
Many use this verse to prove God hates the sinner… when in fact it is not the “sinner” God hates but the sinfulness that dwells within the sinner. Many have taught it Like Martin Luther, and even today people like John MacArthur, yet it is a twisting of the scripture to fit their doctrine and not actually what is taught in the verses themselves.

Esau became the father of the people known in the Bible as the Edomites. These were wicked people who as their “father” did not see that following God was a worthy thing. In fact we read that Esau is used interchangeably in much of the OT as Edomites. In that God did not hate Esau in the sense many teach. They teach that God just chose out of thin air to hate Esau. Esau did not see that his firstborn rights were of any value. He, like Adam gave over his rightful inheritance for a pot of portage. With that was he also saw the blessings of the father of no real worth until after Jacob, who being a bit of a scoundrel tricked his father into blessing him instead of Esau. What many miss is that again God did not randomly just decide to hate Esau. In fact there was still a blessing that seems to be missed as a blessing unto the Gentiles.

The Edomites became wicked people and bore the wrath of God. Yet in that blessing Isaac states.

“His father Isaac answered him, "Your dwelling will be away from the earth's richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck." (Gen 29: 30-40)

I believe the real blessing was in that last phrase. “But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck." You see Esau was in bondage to Jacob. He was a slave to Jacob through the blessings that Isaac gave to Jacob. In Romans we find that Paul is building up to something.

Malachi is a great book. Many reduce it to just a book to guilt people into tithing… which misses the very point of the book which is pointing to the Coming of Jesus.
The first passage is where you find the OT reference to "Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated”. (Verses 2-3) Yet miss that what Malachi is doing is pointing out that even though Edomites were wicked, they had more faith in that though God had destroyed them, they would rebuild… of course only to have it destroyed once again. The Hebrews thought that they were better as they were the descendants of Jacob… The destruction of the Edomites was so great that even other nations told of the Greatness of God… yet here the Hebrews stood and gave God improper acknowledgement in the form of sick and improper sacrifices. They showed less honor than the pagans… who where God’s enemies. What this oracle is about is showing that the Hebrew were no better than the heathens and in fact worse as they knew how God desired to be worshiped and did not do it that way. To say that this is about God loving Jacob because he was “Elect” misses the whole point when you get to Romans 9.

Here the passage in Romans 9: 13-26 ( I know my Calvinist friend will not like this but follow it through and you will see this is not about the Elect going to heave and the non Elect going to hell… this is more glorious as it shows that God is compassionate and merciful…)

Just as it is written:

"Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?"

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, `Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

As he says in Hosea: "I will call them `my people' who are not my people; and I will call her `my loved one' who is not my loved one," and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, `You are not my people,' they will be called `sons of the living God.'"

Most do not connect the Hosea with the rest of the passage. God is holding back His wrath to show mercy… just like the story of Jonah… He gave mercy. He called the gentiles people to Himself… God redeemed the Wicked Edomites and they have now become as God called them “`my people' who are not my people;”

This is not a passage of a hateful God showing His wrath, but of a loving merciful God who has compassion on Who He desire to have compassion on.

God hated the sinful ways of the Edomites, He hated what Esau did… yet instead of just giving wrath, which they already did suffer as the Edomites were judged severely in the OT, they were also vessels of mercy. Esau and his descendants were the shadow of the gentiles whom God also “hated” but still redeemed.


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