As regular readers on this site know, I’m a Jewish believer in Jesus Christ. Over tea after church, I was speaking to someone who attends the service from time to time. We were, actually I was, talking about the Jews. “Election” came up. No, we were not wondering why a Mormon can be a elected president, but not a Jew. He asked me,”Is it fair?
I flew at him. He reddened. “Fair, fair, I said who are you to tell God what is fair! Doesn’t God have a right to do with his creation whatever he wants. Have you read Romans 9. Even Christians, many many Christians don’t know what to do with this chapter. Let me read some of it you.”
“As it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau 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 have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy.”
I explained to him that I was not really angry but, for effect, was acting out what the Apostle Paul might have done if, instead of a letter to the Roman believers, he had been in their midst.
I said that God chose the Jews not because they were a piece of God, not because they were humble or because they were better than any other nation. He did it because that is what He wanted to do. Their main purpose was the promise of Jesus Christ, or as some Jewish believers like to say “Yeshua the Messiah.”
“But, I continued, the election of Israel as a nation is not the purpose of Romans 9. Both Jacob and Esau were Jewish (both father and mother), yet God rejects Esau and accepts Jacob. Here’s the hard part: God’s choice had nothing to do with foreseeing who was going to be good and who bad. Both of them were rotten. Jacob was a heel, a deceiver (that is what his name means), yet Jacob was chosen as the channel of the promise.”
The man I was speaking to was probably without any faith in Christ, or possibly very confused, because I’ve never met or read about any Christian who does not believe that the Jews of the Hebrew Bible were elected by God.
The majority of Christians, though, would say that Romans 9 is not about individual Christians but about the Jewish nation or a remnant of the Jewish nation, for to admit that God has mercy on those he wants to have mercy, which implies that salvation is a unilateral sovereign act of God, is just not fair. And I say to them as well, “Who are you to talk back to God!”
And if you think I’m horrible, I won’t say, You are a poor, vile worm; it is a wonder the earth does not open and swallow you up.
- The pith of ”it’s not he who willeth.” Romans 9 and free will
- Will all Israel be saved? Of course and of course not (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
- Archibald Alexander and how we come to faith: Thank God that he never depends on human understanding to bring us to faith (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
- Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God: A Defense in Credibility (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)