Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. In Romans 2:11, we read: “There is no respect of persons with God.” Romans 9:13 says that God loved Jacob and hated Esau. Wasn’t God being a respecter of persons?
 
A. God loves the righteous man, but He hates the ways of the wicked. The wicked are an abomination in His sight (Prov. 15:9). Esau was a wicked man! We read in Genesis 26:34-35 how Esau brought grief to his parents by marrying two Canaanite women. He had done this in disobedience and disrespect toward his parents.

In Genesis 25, we read the account of Esau selling his birthright. Esau treated it with contempt. He did not consider its importance as verse 34 shows: “Esau despised his birthright.” He sold it to Jacob for a bowl of lentils to satisfy his gnawing hunger.

This is indicative of the character of Esau. In Hebrews 12:16, Esau is called a profane person. He was rejected of God. He could not receive the inheritance because he was unwilling to change! As verse 17 brings out, Esau “found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” His was not  truly repentant!

“Godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death” (II Cor. 7:10).  Esau never really repented. His attitude remained foul. As a man thinks so is he! God hated Esau’s rotten and evil attitude!

But what about Jacob? Jacob had sinned. He had lied directly to his father, not once, but twice, in stealing Esau’s blessing by trickery (Gen. 27:19, 24).But unlike Esau, he was willing to change.

Jacob was obedient. He obeyed his parents when commanded not to marry a Canaanite (Gen. 28:6-7). In Genesis 28:20-21, Jacob vowed to obey God. He repented and was willing to obey God’s Commandments. We read in Psalm 119:172 that “all thy commandments are righteousness.” In God’s sight, Jacob was a righteous man. As a result of this righteousness Jacob will be in God’s kingdom (Luke 13:28).

But Esau was unrighteous in God’s sight. He was not keeping God’s Commandments and refused to repent of his unrighteous ways. Esau’s wickedness was an abomination in God’s eyes.

God is no respecter of persons. God says, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at My word” (Isa. 66:2). God looks to and respects those who fear to disobey His Commandments.
 
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