Sunday, May 03, 2009

Prestination vs Free Will: God loved Jacob and hated Esau

One of the verses and chapters I really disliked in the Bible are the verses in Romans 9:11:

"Yet before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad - in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls... "Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved but Esau I hated."

Its all about - Predestination- the concept that God hath ordained everything for His purpose.

Consider the work of God: for who can make straight, that which He hath made crooked?
Ecclesiastes 7:11

I dislike the concept because it messes with the idea of free will. That humans can repent and change. And it throws up the whole paradox of original sin and God's sovereign will and the problem of Evil. Explain it wrong - and you end up wrecking people's faith in the goodness of God. And talking with certain Christians who have very definite views on predestination can really ruin your Christian walk.

I just want to address two points - God and Esau.

First, God. I don't think God exists in the same human frame time. God is a supernatural being, a thousand years is like a day to Him. God may also be above time. Meaning, he may be viewing human history in the same way as we can read "A History of Ancient Britain". ie. He already knows the end. He's read the story before. In fact, He already knows what we will be doing 10 years from now and probably what our children's children fate will be. God considers human history in probably the same way we see an old library story book that's pass its due by date.

Why? He's God. Is God bound by time?

Anyways back to some ground works.

In church we read about how Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of hot soup. I'm sure right now, it so freaking cold, that some people would have some sympathy for that hairy bugger.

(On the scale of OT sins - ie murdering your brother out of spite, abandoning your wife to lustful heathen kings, throwing out your servant girl and (love)child into the wild desert,
selling your little brother to slave traders, plotting the death of a comrade in arms to take his wife, etc. etc. etc... this particular sin may seem relatively trivial to the modern mind.)*
Esau probably said his now infamous words - not thinking too much about it - after all he was exhausted from hunting. He doesn't come across as a very smart guy and was probably something similar to Conan the Barbarian... maybe like Samson. Plenty of brawn, not much brain- and not much morals either. Its not like he plotted to murder his younger brother like Cain. Poor Esau.
If I was Esau, I would have simply bashed up Jacob - giving the little brat a damn good beating for being so impertinent - and taken the soup. "You little faggot!!! I'm out there busting my chops hunting for game for Dad whilst you're indoors playing housey with mummy. And you dare ask me to sell my birthrights for what!!!??? A bowl of beans? Fry me some chicken wings before I smack you in the mouth a 77th time."
The Bible writes that Esau doesn't care for his spiritual birthrights. He actually did- as seen when he went before his father and asked for his deathbed's blessing and cried when he did not get it. But when he was not in the presence of his father/mother - he didn't really give a thought about it seemed. Maybe he was amoral. A man who didn't think or care too much about God.

Its said - we really show we are Christians when we are outside of church... ie how we behave out on the road, in the workplace, etc.. Do Christians think Christian thoughts when they are alone? Does a falling tree make a sound if it falls with no one looking?

Gandi said, "I revere Jesus Christ but its Christians I can't tolerate."

(Answers: Cain, Abraham, Joseph's brothers, Abraham/Sarah, David)


Erwin Loh said...

Poor Esau. I read a sci-fi novel once titled "Esau" that postulated that Esau was a Neanderthal (due to the red hair). lol.

Yauming YMC said...

Haha, Esau the missing link.