The Bible records how God chose Jacob over Esau as his successor. Although Esau had faith, his actions did not fit with His plan.
He deceived his father into selling him the birthright and fled to a foreign land where he met God who then called him as Israel.
God made His decision between Jacob and Esau on the basis of His sovereignty; thus He was free to choose whoever He pleased, regardless of their actions or lack thereof. Although He could have chosen both, He chose Jacob because He loved Him so much more.
Biblically speaking, “sovereignty” refers to God’s right and power to govern all that exists on Earth. This concept is sometimes expressed through language such as “kingship”, in that God rules over every aspect of creation with absolute control.
God is also sovereign over salvation. According to Scripture, He saves who He wills – both believers and nonbelievers alike. Although God can choose who is saved according to faith or decision, not everyone who believes will receive his grace and mercy.
God chose Jacob to be the father of Israel as a fulfillment of Abraham’s covenant promises, including promises of an amazing nation. Through Jacob’s story we see how He blesses those He loves while punishing those He doesn’t.
At various points in this story, God shows himself sovereign over human actions. Jacob may have been deceptive and dishonest, yet He still received God’s blessing despite having stolen his brother’s birthright and deceived both mother and father.
The Bible teaches that when God’s people act in rebellion against Him, it’s because they choose their own will over His. Therefore it’s essential to keep in mind that He is sovereign over all our lives and we should entrust only in Him for salvation – not our efforts alone – which explains the phrase, “grace upon grace”. His mercy extends toward all and so too his sovereignty.
Paul uses Jacob and Esau to demonstrate that God chooses not based on human deeds but solely based on His sovereign will and purpose – known as unconditional election or Semi-Pelagian view.
Esau was certainly a sinner, while Jacob certainly had his flaws as well. What matters here, though, is that Esau sought earthly blessings while Jacob sought spiritual ones. You can see this theme throughout the Old Testament with Cain and Abel; Isaac and Ishmael; David being born youngest but becoming King – ultimately men after God’s own heart find favor with him.
Esau was a man who disdained his birthright, which implied disdain for God. God had given Esau a promise through Jacob; instead it would come true through Israel being formed from his family lineage.
Why did God select Jacob instead of Esau? The answer lies within His sovereign will and purpose – He wanted Jacob to inherit His promise rather than Esau and carry forward His kingdom work. Esau could not be saved so He chose someone else instead to fulfill this goal.
Jacob had many flaws, yet he sought God’s blessing rather than his own. Unlike his brother who sought temporal rewards instead of spiritual ones. Many miss the point; thinking if they seek after God for blessing He will respond immediately; instead God must first save them through grace before He can bless those seeking after Him.
Ultimately, Old Testament illustrations point toward something even greater – Jesus Christ. Like Jacob, He became father of a nation but He is also God Himself and is now head over His Church – His Body. Jesus is our new covenant in blood with grace and truth replacing law as our mediator.
God is merciful; that’s why the Bible is known as the Book of Mercy. Both Old and New Testaments record numerous stories highlighting His goodness. However, His generosity was most visibly demonstrated on Calvary when Jesus Christ willingly sacrificed Himself for our sins and died to show His mercy on all mankind.
God chose Jacob over Esau with an unconditional decree; He chose them before they were even born or did anything good or bad, according to what is known as prescience or Semi-Pelagian view.
Abraham did not rely on Abraham or his parents’ faith as the sole basis for this decision, rather on God’s sovereign will alone. Thus it should come as no surprise that some may struggle with understanding this concept; we have become used to viewing God’s sovereign will as unknowable and unpredictable.
Note that the biblical story of Jacob and Esau goes beyond simply who would inherit their birthright. God’s choice to bless Jacob’s descendants as an expression of His divine grace shows how He can bestow blessings even on those not deserving.
God chose Jacob over Esau because He knew that the former would seek spiritual (eternal) rather than earthly blessings, as well as that the birthright was something precious that must not be sold off so easily and freely like Esau did, who sold it for a bowl of soup! In other words, God knew who would pursue true happiness rather than be seduced by earthly prosperity.
Esau’s hatred for Jacob, which resulted in his family being destroyed, was unwarranted. God loved Jacob purely on account of who He is rather than anything he may or may not do – this should serve as a lesson to us all: our decisions should never be judged based on worldly considerations but on God’s perfect holiness and infinite wisdom – for He alone knows best! As Psalm 103:9 states: ‘But He abideth forever like a flower from a field; grass withers away and flowers wither away but His Word endureth forever (NKJV). (NKJV).
God is Lord over all things and has an plan. God made clear his plan by selecting Jacob instead of Esau as the firstborn. This act revealed his sovereignty, as He decreed this long before they were even born! Rebekah then received instructions from Him directing her older son, Jacob, to serve Rebekah’s younger one no matter their behavior – this decision being the cornerstone of Semi-Pelagian theory of prescience.
God chose Jacob for several reasons, the primary one being his desire to bless him as an act of grace demonstrating that even those least deserving of blessing can find themselves blessed by him – this theme runs throughout Genesis! God intended for Jacob and his descendants to bring glory back to Himself while blessing Jacob himself along the way.
To fulfill his vision of greatness, Jacob needed to pass down his promises and covenants to future generations – this is what the birthright represented; God was officially handing Jacob an inheritance of patriarchal lineage from his family patriarch.
However, Jacob was not responsive to God’s blessings or promises. Instead he was deceptive and dishonest: stealing his brother’s birthright while lying to his father about why he was dressing up.
Even after his obvious deceit, God still showed him His blessings in dreams as proof that His plans for success and wealth weren’t futile.
Jacob encountered God on his journey to Laban’s house. This passage from scripture illustrates the importance of developing an intimate relationship with Him and seeking Him out, especially during times of struggle and hardship. While Jacob was there, He gave him specific promises regarding land ownership and offspring that would outnumber even the stars in heaven; He named this place Bethel (“house of God”). Jacob’s encounter with Him serves as a reminder that having a solid spiritual foundation lays the groundwork for everything else to follow in life.