The Lord declares, “I have loved Jacob, and hated Esau.” Yet Jesus Himself said God loves the whole world and forgives whoever believes in Him. How can the God who claims to love everyone say He hates anyone?
Esau and Jacob were both the sons of Isaac. In fact, they were twin sons. Was God’s choice to love one and hate the other an arbitrary choice? Was Esau doomed to be hated from the start? Were Esau’s descendants considered God’s enemies just because they were Esau’s descendants?
Here’s what I know about God who is not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL people come to Him:
Jacob and Esau started out on equal footing. One chose to obey God, the other chose his own route. God would have us know He loves those who follow Him. But He views those who reject Him as His enemies. He hates them.
That’s something I don’t like thinking about, much less saying outloud. I am devastated thinking there are people I love who are hated by God. He’s that serious about disobedience. People who reject Him are God’s enemies.
But they don’t have to continue in the hate column. Jesus died to bridge the gap, to provide a way for us to get from the category of Enemy of God, to Child of God. We can’t go from one to the other on our own. We are enemies of God by virtue of unforgiven sin. We can only be God’s beloved by repenting, by being forgiven by the one we have sinned against, by accepting God’s grace through the blood of Jesus.
God, who throws a blanket of love over the world, woos and pokes and prods his enemies in order to get them to come to Him. He works tirelessly to draw all people to Himself so that He can forgive them, and demonstrate His love in a personal way.
Esau could have been loved by God just as much as Jacob was IF he had turned from sin and obeyed God. The same can be said of us. That’s why it is so important that we who know the Savior be telling others about Him, and leading them to the loving arms of their Savior, too.