Here is a brief (and belated) response to a comment on my post on the justice of God.
Morsec0de wrote: “You have two people who live identical lives. The one and only difference is that one is a believer, and the other is not. Do you view it as just that one of those be tortured for all eternity and the other not? I’m sorry, but that is an absolutely revolting concept, and the being who instituted it would be despicable. I’m quite glad there is no good evidence to support such a being actually existing.”
I quoted from Romans chapter 9 in my last post concerning God’s choice of Jacob over Esau and I think that shedding further light on this will answer Morsec0de’s question. Readers be warned, this answer will probably not be a popular one, but it is a biblical one.
The bible tells a story of two people who led identical lives. Jacob and Esau were twin brothers born to Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac was the son of Abraham. God made a covenant with Abraham, declaring that his offspring would be made into a great nation and that the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. God would choose one of Isaac’s sons to carry on this blessing. According to ancient middle eastern culture the firstborn was accorded the greatest honor in the household. Esau was born first, and Isaac planned to grant him the blessing of Abraham, but God saw fit to choose Jacob. He did so that his purpose in election might stand. God did not honor the culture, but his own desire to exalt Jacob instead of Esau. Both were sinners because they were descendants of the original sinner, Adam. Neither deserved God’s blessing, but neither did Isaac nor Abraham. They were chosen in order to fulfill God’s plan of redemption for the human race. The Messiah would be born from this tribe of people that God had called out for his very own. The apostle Paul in Romans chapter 9 makes it abundantly clear that God did not choose Jacob because he was better than his brother. After all, he deceived his father in order to receive his blessing! No, Paul states, “though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
God elected Jacob for reasons that lie outside of Jacob himself. The Lord chose him before he had done either good or evil. God did it for his own purposes, for his own glory. We should not marvel that God hated Esau. He was a God-hating rebel by nature. The true marvel is in the love God showed toward Jacob, who was equally a God-hating rebel by nature. Yet the Lord chose him and renewed his mind and transformed his heart to be the Father of the nation of Israel. Neither brother deserved grace but Jacob received it.
Don’t make the mistake of crying out to God for justice and fairness. If we demand justice be done then all of mankind would perish. Thank God for his mercy. The Creator and sustainer of all things has the absolute sovereign right to have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and to have compassion on whom he will have compassion. This mercy and compassion is man’s only hope.