When her suitor proposed, the attraction she felt toward any others became as hatred in comparison to her love for him. A young woman had been casually dating her boyfriend for a few years. During this time, she had plenty of opportunities to go out with other young men — and she did. But as the pair continued to spend time together, they discovered they shared much in common. Both wholeheartedly loved the Lord. Both expressed a desire to serve the Lord in ministry. The test of time had cemented their relationship, and the young man thought it appropriate to express his intentions of marriage.

After a sumptuous dinner and concert, the young woman’s escort dropped to his knee and proposed to her. The moment she accepted his offer, she made an exclusive commitment which essentially said, “I love you and hate all others.” This does not mean she literally hated the other young men she had dated before. She had simply chosen this man above them.

This is what the Bible means when it says God hated Esau and loved Jacob. Instead of describing the emotions of love and hatred which we express, it means God rejected Esau and chose Jacob (but not for salvation). We cannot accuse God of inequity for His sovereign choice, because the choice was made before their births. He determined the older brother would serve the younger. This was simply the way God chose to carry out His plan — and He precisely fulfilled it.

I don’t know why God chose Jacob over Esau, but we are experiencing the benefits of His sovereign choice to this day. The descendants of Jacob have given us the Messiah and the Word of God. Every nation in the world has been blessed through them. Let God’s fulfilled promise to Jacob remind you He will keep His promises to you today.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.