Romans 9:14-18What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses,
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
Again, a hard passage to deal with. Is God unjust to choose Jacob and reject Esau? Is he unjust to choose to save one person and yet leave another?
The answer has to be no, since God is just. If he were not just, he would not be perfect and he wouldn't be God. How then can this fit together? Here are some ideas to ponder.
- God created everything and therefore he has the right to do what he wants with it. If I created a clay pot, I have the right to smash it or keep it, regardless of what it looks like. We are of far more worth then clay pots, but we elevate ourselves to God's level in our minds. No, we are still just a created thing and he ha every right to do his will through us. We are not God and we are not anywhere near his awesomeness
- We all sin. Therefore we all deserve Gods wrath. Justice would be to judge everyone and send everyone to hell. Grace is to save some. So God can choose either to directly intervene with grace and to save, or to allow a person to continue on their way, to keep on sinning and end up under his eternal wrath in hell.
- There is still an element of free will. We do choose what we do, and we are responsible for our choices. God is ultimately in control, but from our perspective we make choices. Without Jesus we cannot turn to God, we wil always choose to sin. So Go isn't causing us to sin, he is allowing it, and therefore he can judge
- God created everything for his glory. Therefore he has the right to glorify himself by judging or by saving.
It is entirely up to God who he will show mercy on and who he will judge. It is his creation, his mercy and grace and it is his to do what he wants with it. Why do we have such a big problem with that?
- We believe satan when he tells us that we are as important as God and that we are the centre of the universe. Thats what he tempted Eve with wasn't it? You can be like God. Even more - "You are like God, he just isn't letting you meet your potential".
- We are proud. We like to be in control and to make our own futures. We want to make it oursleves in the world and therefore to deserve the praise ourselves.
- We don't trust God. We don't trust that he is good, gracious, just, perfect, holy, pure, righteous, faithful, all-powerful, all-knowing and worthy of all praise. We can't fathom that and we don't trust that he will do what is right (Genesis 18:25)
- We have a problem with submitting to Justice and authority. I think it's a universal human problem (but then I haven't met everyone in the world, so I don't really know that). We don't like to be told what to do, and we always feel that our actions are justified. We rarely do something when we know it is wrong - we justify it in our minds and want to be proved right.
It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
It doesn't matter how 'good' we are, because we all sin. We need God's grace and salvation, his mercy - not our own works. We all deserve hell. How do we have God's grace? By repentance and faith in Jesus
Have you submitted to Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? Will you submit to him as the only one who can save?