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THE PROBLEM WITH JACOB AND ESAU

By Curtis Pugh

Many people who read the Bible have a problem with certain statements that go contrary to what they assume to be true. This is due in part to the natural inclination of man towards pride: thinking he can do what he cannot do. It is also due in part to the popular preachments of humanism sounded forth from most pulpits today. One such Bible passage that is a problem to many folk is that of Jacob and Esau, ancient fathers of the Jews and Edomites respectively.

The problem is seen in this quotation: “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,” (Romans 9:10-16).

In spite of what some claim, the problem is not that God hated Esau before he was born. He was worthy of God's hatred as his life proved. God was not unrighteous to view him as a sinner because that is what he was. The problem is not really with the other fellow, Jacob either: God chose to love him. He was a crook and a scoundrel of the worst sort as the first part of his life proved also. No, the problem most people find with this passage and many others like it is this: God does as He pleases with His creation whether animal, vegetable or mineral – including humans. God has mercy on whom He wills to have mercy: compassion upon whom He wills to have compassion, etc., and asks no permission from anyone for what He does.

“Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Romans 9:21). Such a statement as this is indeed a problem to the carnal mind - the minds of rebellious men: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be,” (Romans 8:7). Unless and until God intervenes in an individual's life by regenerating them, that person is totally unable to submit himself or herself to God and His purpose. His carnal (fleshly) mind is of such a nature as to continually rebel against God. That is why Jesus said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again,” (John 3:7).


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Denham Springs, LA 70726

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