God’s favor was on Isaac rather than Ishmael. If someone says that is because of their mothers — one being free and the other a slave — Paul also reminds us of Jacob and Esau, who had the same mother, and were born on the same day.
1. The Unmovable Autonomy of God in Election
If you’re bothered more by “Esau I hated” than by “Jacob I loved” — if you don’t see the wretchedness of Jacob behind his name — that might be because, when you look in the mirror, you don’t think of your sinfulness as much. Your tendency might be to assume that God loves you. So the idea of Him hating doesn’t seem fair. But, biblically, it’s actually the other way around. “Jacob I loved” is what makes the least sense.
If the statement above is not where you are, then this text is going to serve you! It turns our human-centered paradigms absolutely upside down.
The name of this first sermon point, about God’s “unmovable autonomy in election”, is from v.11b, “in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls”. The Greek word for “continue” may also be translated “stand, remain, keep, be preserved”.
2. The Unsearchable Complexity of God in Love and Wrath
3. The Universal Fame of God in Gospel Proclamation