Margin notes for 7/5/2KX

Genesis 36:1 (ESV) These are the generations of Esau (that is, Edom).”

Genesis 36 stands out as a bit of a curiosity. And, it serves to teach us a good lesson.

Jacob, as we all know, was sovereignly chosen by God above Esau to be heir as the “firstborn” – as the one through whom the Tribes of Israel would come, and at last the Messiah Himself. Paul appeals to this reality powerfully in Romans 9 – as demonstrating God’s unassailable electing grace: 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Romans 9:11–13 (ESV)

If we learn nothing else from these 43 verses, we can at least gain this – God still took great notice of Esau and His offspring. They do not utterly vanish from the pages of Scripture. It is interesting to see God taking such pains to list the generations of Esau. His promises were no less binding to Esau, though he was not to be the son of promise as Jacob was. His lineage is not disregarded. His offspring are not inconsequential in God’s eyes. Though he would not occupy the place of the “firstborn” – and (to extend the later types) be chosen for adoption – he is not utterly cast off either. God is Lord of all, and His choice of one unto a higher place, is not to be over-construed into total abandonment of all others.

No, the non-elect are not also “saved.” There is not a 3rd category. “Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” Acts 14:17 (ESV)

God forbid, that we should ever allow ourselves to disdain the souls of any others also made “in the image of God.” Grace, must never be allowed to cross over into license to despise others.

One thought on “Margin notes for 7/5/2KX

  1. Good piece and reminder, Reid. All too often, believers read this passage to mean that Usau and his heirs were utterly abandoned and forsaken in this passage. It doesn’t read exactly like that, so we must needs always be careful not to open what God has shut, or conversely, to shut what God has opened.

    All this you have said, and yet in a careful way that takes full cognizance of God’s complete sovereignty.

    I like it.

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