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Gosu164
Sep 12th 2008, 03:13 PM
Hello,

It's me again...

I read chapter 9 in Romans twice at different times, and I still don't understand about how God's choices and our lives work out with each other...

For example, Rebekah's husband will be Isaac, who is a son of Abraham, and they will have two sons. The older one will serve younger one, and that is part of God's plan.God said, "I love Jacob, but I hate Esau".

In addition, He said He will show kindness to anyone to whom I want o show kindness, and I will show mercy to anyone to whom I want to show mercy. So, God will choose he one to whom he decides to show mercy; his choices does not depend on what people want or try to do (verse 15-16).

Then Paul said this in verse 20, You are only human, and human beings have no right to question God.

Unfortunately, I think we should understand why God choose to do something to people...like show mercy or show kindness depend upon his decision, not based on what people are doing or want...

I mean, what have we done before we were even born to deserve this?

I tried to figure out on my own, but I couldn't...:giveup:

Please help me understand this one...

Thanks,

Auzy

Instrument
Sep 12th 2008, 05:28 PM
I mean, what have we done before we were even born to deserve this?
Hello.

Nothing, absolutely nothing. It is by God's grace that we receive, if we deserve grace, then it would no longer be grace.

The question is: what was what God envisioned in Jacob. Answer: God foresaw faith of Jacob, however the same faith is a gift of God for salvation.

Blessings.

OldChurchGuy
Sep 13th 2008, 02:41 AM
Hello,

It's me again...

I read chapter 9 in Romans twice at different times, and I still don't understand about how God's choices and our lives work out with each other...

For example, Rebekah's husband will be Isaac, who is a son of Abraham, and they will have two sons. The older one will serve younger one, and that is part of God's plan.God said, "I love Jacob, but I hate Esau".

In addition, He said He will show kindness to anyone to whom I want o show kindness, and I will show mercy to anyone to whom I want to show mercy. So, God will choose he one to whom he decides to show mercy; his choices does not depend on what people want or try to do (verse 15-16).

Then Paul said this in verse 20, You are only human, and human beings have no right to question God.

Unfortunately, I think we should understand why God choose to do something to people...like show mercy or show kindness depend upon his decision, not based on what people are doing or want...

I mean, what have we done before we were even born to deserve this?

I tried to figure out on my own, but I couldn't...:giveup:

Please help me understand this one...

Thanks,

Auzy

A well thought out question. I believe the key idea is that of predestination. This is an idea that has plagued theologians and I don't believe there is a clear cut answer.

The writer of Job in the Hebrew Bible (aka the Old Testament) also wrestled with the question and concluded there was no way to second guess God.

I'm not sure there is an answer to your question. Perhaps the writer of Ecclesiastes has it right when he writes (and this is my understanding and not an exact quote): if you have food on your table, a roof over your head, and clothes on your back then you have everything you need. Anything beyond that is gravy. Be grateful.

Wishing I had a perfect answer for you I remain,

OldChurchGuy

holyrokker
Sep 15th 2008, 03:29 AM
Romans 9 is probably not talking about God's dealings with individuals in relation to our personal salvation.

It is talking about the "big picture" - how God worked out His plan of salvation for the nations through how He dealt with Israel.

BroRog
Sep 15th 2008, 04:35 AM
Hello,

It's me again...

I read chapter 9 in Romans twice at different times, and I still don't understand about how God's choices and our lives work out with each other...

For example, Rebekah's husband will be Isaac, who is a son of Abraham, and they will have two sons. The older one will serve younger one, and that is part of God's plan.God said, "I love Jacob, but I hate Esau".

In addition, He said He will show kindness to anyone to whom I want o show kindness, and I will show mercy to anyone to whom I want to show mercy. So, God will choose he one to whom he decides to show mercy; his choices does not depend on what people want or try to do (verse 15-16).

Then Paul said this in verse 20, You are only human, and human beings have no right to question God.

Unfortunately, I think we should understand why God choose to do something to people...like show mercy or show kindness depend upon his decision, not based on what people are doing or want...

I mean, what have we done before we were even born to deserve this?

I tried to figure out on my own, but I couldn't...:giveup:

Please help me understand this one...

Thanks,

Auzy

Auzy, I think you understand the text perfectly. But I can understand your struggle with it.

I don't know if this is your experience, but others I know have had a very hard time with the idea of God's providence because their mind immediately goes to real life questions like,

What if I want to be with God but he doesn't want me to be with him?
What if I want to be in heaven, but God wills that I go to hell?
What if I want to serve him and love him but he refuses to love me?

Many people, when they begin to come to grips with God's sovereignty become fearful that God will keep people out of heaven that want to be there. Some will try to assuage their fears by telling them that God will not violate their free will, even when clear evidence is found in the Bible that God violates people's free will all the time. Paul the apostle is a case in point.

I believe the answer that fits the Biblical evidence the best is that our faith, our desire to be in heaven, our wish to love and serve God is evidence of God having chosen us first. We have as much freewill as we think we have, but even so, God still directs history the way he wants it to go.

Though God revealed to Rebekah that Esau would serve his younger brother Jacob, we never read that God thwarted Esau in any way or tried to dissuade him from seeking his own inheritance. God does not manipulate the situation or trick Esau out of his blessing. Esau is freely acting under his own volition and making choices that indicate Esau's values and Esau's desires. Esau traded his inheritance for a bowl of stew because he didn't value the inheritance more than the stew. His choice reflected his own priorities.

The fact that all of Esau's choices had their basis in God's prior choice, as mysterious as it appears, doesn't change the fact that Esau was getting exactly what he wanted, when he wanted it. No one, not even God, manipulated Esau to act contrary to himself. Esau was true to himself until the very end.

Had God not revealed his plans in advance to Rebekah, the three of them would not have had a different experience. Each of them would have experienced themselves making freewill choices as they always have. And all of their choices would naturally reflect each person's priorities, desires, wants, aspirations, goals, etc. The only difference, that I can see, is how Rebekah seemed to take hold of God's promise and acted in concert with God's revealed will. But she could not have had anything to do with Esau's heart. He despised his inheritance and blessing on his own, without any prompting either from his mother or God.

Anyway, all I can say is that God will not keep anyone out of heaven that wants to be there. And I think we can see this from the many Bible stories we read.

crossnote
Sep 15th 2008, 04:45 AM
In the same way we ask 'how can Jesus be fully God and simultaneously fully man?' There is no human explanation but that is what is revealed.
So when we are confronted with predestination on the one hand and our responsibility on the other, all we can say is that both are fully true, revealed in Scripture and one Day may be explained and/or made obvious in Eternity.