Monday, April 12, 2010

This is Grace.

Avoirdupois clung to Rebecca's heart, but there was no weight in her womb. When Isaac cried out to the Lord, God heard the man's tears and healed the woman's barrenness. Twins formed within her, and before they were yet born, struggled inside her. Troubled by this pother, Rebecca sought an explanation from God. "Two nations are in thy womb," answer the Lord, "and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels" (Gen. 25:3). Before they had breathed the breath of this world, before they had entered in blood and lived in sin or righteousness, Jacob was loved by God, and Esau hated. This, this is grace. Both deserved death, because both had inherited condemnation from the sin of Adam. But God--in his inexplicable sovereignty--chose the younger to rule the elder, the weaker to conquer the strong.

(A summary of the 35th chapter of the 16th book of The City of God.)


  1. I loved our dinner conversation the other night.
    The beautiful interweaving of God's redemptive story throughout Scripture is incredible! Not a single author could pen a page so congruous. (Much less sixty-some!)

  2. it doesn't seem (to me) of the character of God to hate Esau before he was born. Yes, to bestow a special grace to Jacob, choosing him to be one of the fathers of the nation of Isreal [THAT is of God's character]. But to hate someone before birth?... He doesn't really do that anywhere else in the Bible.

  3. Chris, in some ways I agree with you. It doesn't seem fair, and it certainly doesn't seem loving. But it's right there in the Bible: Romans 9:13. And God has demonstrated this characteristic in other parts of the Bible. Just think of the peoples he commanded the Israelites to destroy. Not just fight, but completely annihilate. It's a hard doctrine, and I do not understand it--but I cannot help but believe it, from my reading of the Word.