The Word of Promise

Romans 9:6-13 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that called;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 

‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called …’ this is the 2nd Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Romans (9:7-14; Gen. 17:15-19; 18:10; 25:1-34; Mal. 1:1-3).

‘But the children of the promise are counted for the seed’ we who are Christians are the children of the promise and of the new covenant like Isaac as we see in Galatians 4:28-29. The “heirs of the promise (Heb. 6:17) are called the children of faith (4:1-25).

‘At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son’ – in Genesis 18:10 we see the promises and it was fulfilled the following year in the birth of Isaac (Gen. 21:1-8).

‘The elder shall serve the younger’ This prophecy was given in Genesis 25:23 and we see later in history that the family of Esau (or Edom) seemed to be stronger at first than Jacob’s (or Israel’s), for they had dukes and kings long before Israel did (Gen. 36:1-43) and they were powerful enough to resist Israel’s passage through their land when coming out of Egypt (Num. 20:1-29). Later, David completely defeated them and made them subject to Israel for about 150 years (2Sam. 8:14). After the Babylonian captivity, the Maccabeus compelled them to leave their country or embrace the Jewish religion. From then on they were ruled by Israel. In the Millennium they will again be under Israel (Ps. 60:8-10; Isa. 11:14; 63:1; Amos 9:12).

‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated’ – hate, as used here, is an idiom of preference, as in Luke 14:25-27, not a term expressing personal malice or jealousy in the sense we’re familiar with. This is the sixth of twelve cases in Scripture where God made the choice of the younger over the older brother. Here it was because of the disposition and attitude toward Him. Esau was a fornicator and destitute of hunger for God in his life (Heb. 12:16-17), while Jacob was the type that loved the Lord and hungered to do his will. (Mal. 1:1-3).

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