Why God elects some and leave the others?
When it comes to election, we always think of freedom. Freedom to choose, as we are living in a world that we have freedom to elect. But when it comes to salvation, it is a different issue, as we do not choose God, but God choose us according to his sovereign pleasure. He does the choosing and not us. Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I choose you.” When choosing the disciples, Jesus did not give a sermon and at the end of the sermon he did not tell, “Who ever wants to be my disciples, I want you to raise your hand, stand to your feet or come forward.” No. There were lot of fisherman but he went to the ones whom he wanted to choose and when he called them, they could not refuse, because the calling of God is effectual. Let us first see the sovereignty of God in election.
When man sinned against God, may be the angels saw that this was not consistent with the attributes of God to save any human being. It had to be consistent with God’s honor to his holiness, majesty, justice and truth. Again, we see his mere pleasure, that nothing is too hard for the Lord, his wisdom is infinite, and his power is infinite. There is Christ who will carry out the work of redemption where he will satisfy the justice of God. God can save the worse murderer, adulterer, or blasphemer without causing any harm to his attributes according to his mercy, meaning he can choose whom he wants to save.
Jacob I loved, Esau I hated.
Calvinists and Arminians both agree on election, but the Arminians say, the election is based on God’s foreknowledge looking into the future he sees who will be saved, meaning who will be spiritual and who will be not, and God elects people according to what he sees in the future. We saw in scripture last time, foreknowledge is referring to persons and not to the action of the person, and also we saw last time it is referring to an intimate, special love to those elect before the world began.
We need to go to the most clearest passage in the Bible as we are going to see expose the scripture twisting of those false teachers.
Ro 9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
11 (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;)
12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 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.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.
One man says the word "hate" does not mean hate; it means "love less:"—"Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I loved less." The fact is, God loved Jacob, and he did not love Esau; he did choose Jacob, but he did not choose Esau; he did bless Jacob, but he never blessed Esau. "God is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain;"
Let us see how the Arminians interpret this scripture. I will quote a popular pastor who is extremely popular today, interprets this scripture.
10-13 God had chosen Jacob, because He knew that Jacob would be a spiritual man
and Esau would be a fleshly man.
v. 14 The choices God has made haven't closed the door to one individual. He loves and accepts all who come to Him.
v. 15-18 Since God is supreme, He can choose and act as He pleases. His ways are beyond our human understanding.”
We cannot put our opinions into the scripture then it becomes a false teaching. Let scripture interpret it self. Listen to what the pastor says, “God had chosen Jacob, because He knew that Jacob would be a spiritual man and Esau would be a fleshly man.” So according to Arminian position election of God is according to God knowing who is going to be good (spiritual) and who is going to be bad. Per Arminian position, God elects the good and leave the not good. If this is the case, all humans will agree, as it looks very fair for God to elect the good that are spiritual and leave the bad unspiritual to perish. Then Chuck Smith goes on to say “His ways are beyond our human understanding” Now that does not make any sense as all humans will agree that the good is elected and the bad is left, then how can we say, God’s ways are beyond our understanding, if this is true then it is according to our understanding. Then Paul should not say in verse 14, is there unrighteous with God? And in verse 20, who are you to reply against God? If the Arminians are true, man does not have any questions, as everyone will agree as God elects people as God sees who is.
Now let us expose the truth of this passage. According to this pastor God saw, that Jacob was more spiritual than Esau. No my friend read the story very carefully. If election is on foreseen acts, God should have elected Esau not Jacob. Because, Esau was more truthful than Jacob. What do you mean? Look very carefully. Esau was more sincere than Jacob. He hunted for the true venison where his father loved to eat. And he was serious and brought the venison to his father speedily, and made it ready for his father, as he knew his father’s taste for venison. Esau had big expectation for the blessing. Let us see this in the light of scripture.
Ge 27:1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:
3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
In verse five, we see the obedience of Esau, as hurried to the field to kill an animal, as the father spoke only to Esau and not to Jacob, Esau was excited to get his blessing.
5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.
But in the meantime, while Esau was hunting, Jacob listened to his mom’s plan in deceiving his father. The father is old and he cannot see, he is about to give the blessing to Esau, but behind the scene, there is deception going on.
First, as he had a smooth skin and Esau had a hairy skin, Jacob put over his hands the animal skins, when his father in his blindness touched him he taught it was Esau. Jacob pretended to be Esau, went to the Father and said; My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? Ge 27:18
It was one deception after the other, he lied to his father.
Ge 27:19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
He is not convicted of his sin, as Jacob is only greedy for the blessing, my question is who is the fleshly man here? Be honest, it is Jacob.
(Meanwhile Esau it truly hunting, and here Jacob is deceiving the father)
He did not get true venison but gave father the counterfeit venison.
Not only he lied, he used the Lord’s name in vain. He is mixing his sin with the sacred holy name of God.
Ge 27:20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.
Ge 27:38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
Ge 27:21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
Even when his father doubted of his voice, Jacob did not say anything as there was no conviction of sin he was looking at his fathers blindness, and taking advantage of his mother’s craftiness for his own greediness to get the blessing. Here we see when the father doubted his voice, it gave an opportunity for him to tell the truth, but Jacob silently sinned.
Now Jacob was not only a liar, but also a professional liar as he lied boldly. He was seeking the blessing by fraud in contrary to the truth.
Ge 27:24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
Jacob did not even blush in his sin, with his trickery and deception toward God and Isaac as he kissed the father to get the blessing.
Ge 27:26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
27 And he came near, and kissed him:
Esau after hunting brought the true venison, then cooked and gave to his father, but too late, when he knew that Jacob deceived his father and Esau, Esau wept bitterly.
Ge 27:31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me.
Ge 27:34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
Now let me ask you an honest question, who
was worthy to receive the blessing? It is not Jacob but Esau. See what the Arminans say, “God had chosen
Jacob, because He knew that Jacob would be a spiritual man and Esau would be a
fleshly man.” You can see the spiritual gymnastics they play when it comes to
But on the other hand, Jacob was a liar, the deceiver the unworthy of the blessing but it was Esau who was obedient and was worthy of the blessing, who was faithful and did not deceive or lie.
When Isaac realized of the true story, he could not reverse the blessing to Esau, as it was too late. But yet, God said, “Jacob I have loved and Esau I have hated.” We humans should all disagree and say how can it be? Paul knew this in advance that many people will say, this is not right, God is unjust if he says, that he loved Jacob and hated Esau.
Ro 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
God loves or hates without any consideration of worthiness or unworthiness.
Ro 9:15 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.
Here we see, Jacob was unworthy and deserved judgment but instead God showed his mercy to Jacob and compassion to Jacob, so then election is not according to what a person does, as if this is the case Esau would have been elected, election is according to God’s sovereign pleasure.
Ro 9:11 (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;)
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Jonathan Edwards said, “The will of God is called his mere pleasure.”
“Elisha Coles said, “That the great God, blessed for ever, hath an absolute power and right dominion over his creatures, to dispose and determine of them as seemth him good.”
The great theologian Jonathan Edwards said, “The sovereignty of God is his absolute, independent right of disposing of all creatures according to his own pleasure.” Then he went on to say, “God can either bestow salvation on any of the children of men, or refuse it, without any prejudice to the glory of any of his attributes” God is the king of the universe and he has all the power, the right to rule and carry out his will according to his own pleasure. When we say his own pleasure that means, God is not obligated to anyone, he has the full liberty, full freedom and he is fully independent. No human being how rich they are do not have this kind of pleasure, as all humans have an obligation to somebody and they are not fully independent, but God is fully independent and can do any thing according to his pleasure without any damage to his attributes.
But still many will say it is unfair for God to elect some and leave others to perish, just like he loved Jacob and hated Esau. Paul knowing that people will come against God’s sovereignty said,
Ro 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
What he is saying here is, who are you but just dust and ashes trying to dispute with Almighty God.
Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
Re 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created
Election Based on God's Good Pleasure
When we sinned against the infinite holy God, we deserved an infinite punishment in hell, yet God decided to save some, and this is called election and election is exclusively for God’s good pleasure for undeserved creatures, unworthy, poor and miserable creatures like us. God does not choose us according to our human qualities or good actions. As Scripture says, When the children were not yet born, and had done nothing either good or bad..., she (Rebecca) was told, "The older will serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated" (Rom. 9:11-13). Also, All who were appointed for eternal life believed (Acts 13:48).
Ac 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
It is so clear that God cannot love Jacob according to his actions as he was a deceiver, God did not see that he was the spiritual man, as Jacob acted upon his flesh, when God said, “I have loved Jacob” It was a love that God had for Jacob before he was born, so God had elected Jacob before the foundation of the world.
This is a perfect example of God’s election; it is not according to works or obedience but according to God’s own sovereign selection. God has sovereignty over his creatures, choosing that are less deserving, unworthy. The election is of grace alone.