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a) The promises of God do not concern the natural seed of Abraham
(Romans 9:6-13)
6But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,7nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called."8That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.9For this is the word of promise: "At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son."10And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac11(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),12it was said to her, "The older shall serve the younger." 13As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated."

Paul was a joyful apostle in the service of the Lord Jesus, but he was, at the same time, immersed in deep sorrow and increasing pressure. He saw hundreds of unbelieving Gentiles become regenerated and admitted into the kingdom of God, while thousands of the chosen Jews despised Jesus and his kingdom, moving away from him, unwilling to hear him or follow him.
Paul, the legal expert, wanted to clarify this truth, which was strange to both Jews and Christians of Jewish origin in Rome. He wrote to them that the word of God is the only truth which can clarify this strange development, and which bears the correct answer to this secret. This answer has two aspects:
First: Not all the children of Abraham are children of the promise. God did not choose Ishmael as one of the ancestors of Christ. Ishmael and all of his descendants remained outside the religious line, and outside the choice of the children of Jacob. We learn from this development that the natural seed of man does not decide his spiritual future. Not everyone who is born into a Christian family immediately becomes a true Christian, but needs to personally return to God. God has children, not grandchildren.
This truth clarifies to us that not all the chosen Jews are children of God, but only those who willfully become open to the gospel of Christ. Abraham’s right of adoption is established to them, but its fruition depends on the will of the individuals.
Second: We read in the Holy Bible that the Lord had told Rebecca, the wife of Isaac, before she gave birth to her twins, that the older twin would serve the younger one (Genesis 25:23). Both of them were the sons of one father. But God knew beforehand that the cells and genes would develop differently in each one of them.
However, God chose Jacob, the younger one, and rejected his elder brother Esau. Although Jacob was not morally better than Esau, he enjoyed the ability to believe more effectively than Esau, and he repented sincerely. The Bible does not mention such characteristics in Esau. This event explains to us that the choice of man, according to his predetermination, depends on the omniscience of God and his own will.
No one is to blame God for refusing him, because we do not know the mysteries of ourselves, or the inheritance in our bodies. God is holy, just, and blameless in his decision.
Some theologians see that the selection of God has nothing to do with man’s being, or acts, but it depends only on the Creator’s decision; and that man cannot recognize God’s motives and designs. Not everyone agrees to this view, for our God is the Father who is not only holy, but also loving and compassionate.
During his ministry, Jesus said the decisive words: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life” (John 10:27-28). Not everyone hears his voice, and not everyone who hears his voice responds to him, or acts according to his orders. We find people of one clan, of one nation, and even of one family, who hear the gospel and do not understand it, while others become filled with its joy and peace.

O heavenly Father, we thank you because you chose Isaac and Jacob, and made them grandfathers of your son Jesus, though they were not, in fact, saints. Please strengthen our faith that we may overcome, in your name, the coming difficulties, as well as the evil in ourselves, and lead us to humility and self-denial that we may not esteem ourselves better than others.
What is the meaning of Isaac’s selection of his seed and Jacob’s selection of his sons? What is the secret of God’s selection?