Predestination

My friend asked me to do a post on the topic of Predestination.
This is a big and broad topic. So we will see how far I go into this post and decide on where I am going with it next.
With that said, I think my friend was referring to the Calvinistic idea of predestination in TULIP beyond mere overall Sovereignty.

I personally believe that God is no doubt Sovereign over all things. The questions really come into play when we get into the details of how it all works out. God, being all knowing and beyond ANY boundary (such as time and physical location) that all humans are trapped by, allows ALL things to happen. Some attribute free will and others attribute it all to God and his sovereign. The discussion can go all over the place from here. It gets messy!

Free Will versus Sovereignty

Where do I stand? Well honestly, I am still studying these things and have not settled in on ONE particular theory. I do not really agree with all the points of Calvinism and I am not completely against them either. There is a lot of gray area. I could go into the TULIP discussion and my analysis on that, but not today. (At least not in this post.)

I want to stick to the original topic of predestination and not delve into TULIP.

The more I have studied this and dwell on it, the more I find myself in that gray area. I think both sides (Calvinists, Arminists) both have great points and use the Bible (sometimes out of context) to support themselves.
I have gone through periods of wrestling over these things. Take the topic of election for instance:

One day I might say, “God ‘s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to His call.”
Then the next day I would wake up and be like, “no that does not make much sense, because it gives human way too much response and responsibility. It almost puts man and man’s choice ahead of God and His plan. I don’t like that.” It must be “God ‘s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will.”
Then the next day I say to myself, “but what about faith, obedience what about when Moses or Jeremiah ‘changed God’s mind’ by praying for their people?”

There is a balance. There is an area that is hard to understand. There is something more than just Calvinist all out Sovereign will of God and the complete Free Will of human choice.

Btw, if you think about it, there is still Sovereignty in The Arminius approach (whether they admit it or not)…notice how both arguments start with “God ‘s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world…”

You think about it long enough, (and throw the fact that God allowed us to discuss it), it is more and more amazing how God is ultimately in control. And He uses both man and things beyond man to control man. WOW.

In just the basic idea of predestination:

tells us, “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.” and 11 declare, “He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.…In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.” Many people have a strong hostility to the doctrine of predestination. However, predestination is a biblical doctrine. The key is understanding what predestination means, biblically. The Greek word proorizo, which carries the meaning of “to determine beforehand,” “to ordain,” “to decide upon ahead of time.”

If God is choosing who is saved, does not that undermine our free will to chose and believe in Christ? The Bible says that we have the freewill choice – all we have to do is believe in Jesus Christ and we will be saved (; ). The Bible never describes God rejecting anyone who believes in Him or turning away anyone who was seeking Him (). Somehow, in the mystery of God, predestination works hand in hand with a person being drawn by God () and believing unto salvation (). God predestines who will be saved, and we must choose Christ in order to be saved. Both facts are equally true. proclaims, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!”

This post, I realize is just scratching the surface of the itch.

Jacob i loved Esau I hated

When I first saw this in Romans 9, I was confused and struggled. How was it that God, who is love, hate someone?

When studying the Bible, it is crucially important to always study the context of a particular Bible verse or passage. In these instances, the Prophet Malachi and the Apostle Paul are using the name “Esau” to refer to the Edomites, who were the descendants of Esau. Isaac and Rebekah had two sons, Esau and Jacob. God chose Jacob (whom He later renamed Israel) to be the father of His chosen people, the Israelites. God rejected Esau (who was also called Edom), and did not choose him to be the father of His chosen people. Esau’s and his descendants, the Edomites, were in many ways blessed by God (Genesis 33:9; Genesis chapter 36).

So, considering the context, God loving Jacob and hating Esau has nothing to do with the human emotions of love and hate. It has everything to do with God choosing one man and his descendants and rejecting another man and his descendants. God choose Abraham out of all the men in the world. The Bible very well could say, “Abraham I loved, and every other man I hated.” God choose Abraham’s son Isaac instead of Abraham’s son Ishmael. The Bible very well could say, “Isaac I loved, and Ishmael I hated.”

Here is a note from the NEXT Bible : The context indicates this is technical covenant vocabulary in which “love” and “hate” are synonymous with “choose” and “reject” respectively (see Deut 7:8; Jer 31:3; Hos 3:1; 9:15; 11:1).

Romans chapter 9 makes it abundantly clear that loving Jacob and hating Esau was entirely related to which of them God chose. Hundreds of years after Jacob and Esau had died, the Israelites and Edomites became bitter enemies. The Edomites often aided Israel’s enemies in attacks on Israel. Esau’s descendants brought God’s curse on themselves. Genesis 27:29, “May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”

Some sources:
http://www.gotquestions.org/Jacob-Esau-love-hate.html
http://net.bible.org/passage.php?passage=Mal+1:2-3
http://www.meguiar.addr.com/Jacob_Esau.htm