We must understand precisely the background of God’s statement in Romans 9:13, “I love Jacob and hate Esau.” It turns out that this verse was taken from the Book of Malachi 1. We must look carefully at Malachi 1, namely about the dialogue between the Israelites and God . The Israelites seemed to want to question why God loved Jacob and hated Esau.“I have loved you,” says the Lord. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated…” ““A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. “It is you priests who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?…“By offering defiled food on my altar. “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? …” and so on.
From this reading it can be concluded that it is not without reason that God loves Jacob and hates Esau. If they are disrespectful to God, like Esau does not respect his parents, then they are also not worthy of being loved. This does not mean that God’s Word failed. But each individual is given free will to make decisions and choose in determining his fate or circumstances. Speaking of Esau and Jacob, in fact the context is not an individual problem, but the election of a nation. The proof is that Esau has never been a servant for Jacob, but in the community, descendants of Esau – that is, the Edomites – were not a nation blessed by God. Thus it is very wrong if Jacob’s choice as heir and God’s rejection of Esau are equated or become a typology of the choice of salvation of individuals.
The implication for today’s believers is that we should not feel as a spiritually chosen people (Christians) then surely go to heaven. Many Christians think that being a chosen person means definitely entering heaven. It must be understood that being a chosen people is to be a person who has the potential to be an eternal or permanent people of God. However, being God’s eternal people depends on our response to the grace given by God through the work of the cross of the Lord Jesus. If someone’s response to the work of the cross is wrong, then like the Israelites who were killed in the wilderness, many Christians will also die in the course of their lives so they will not arrive at the Father’s House. That is why it must be understood that to be saved there must be a struggle to enter the narrow path (Luke 13: 23-24).
So it’s not without reason that one day God rejects certain people. There is a basis for this act of God that does not undermine the principle and nature of God’s justice in determining someone to be saved or perish. This happens not because God wants or intends to “destroy” someone so that he hates him, while God loves others and takes him to heaven. But God gives each individual free will. It is this free will of each individual that gives birth to a response to God’s work of salvation. This response builds or determines God’s attitude to each individual. This truth builds logic that is healthy, sane, fair, honest, intelligent, and has clear implications for the chosen people, and how they have to fill the days of their lives.
If God is portrayed as a person who unilaterally determines people to be hated and loved, which is the same as determining entering heaven or going to hell, how terrible is such personal figure of God. God cannot but be described as a “sick” person. Humans will not have clear implications for how to fill this day of life. Life in the universe with “Ruler” with such characteristics, all uncertain, there is no certainty and is truly very terrible. A god like this is widely known in various primitive beliefs and religions. No wonder they have various religious rituals or ceremonies with all their sacrifices in an effort to quell the anger of gods against the people.