Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are His descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ 8 In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: ‘At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.’ 10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad— in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by Him who calls— she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ 13 Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’”
In verses 10-11, Paul brings up another case of God’s sovereign election, the story of Jacob and Esau’s birth. Rebecca, Isaac’s wife, was carrying two babies. Before either of them was even born, God selected Jacob over Esau. Here, Paul took away any thought of God’s selection being made because of good deeds. It is a clear illustration of God’s sovereignty. It was entirely a matter of God’s choice, based on His own will and not on the character or attainments of the subjects.
The purpose of God, according to election, means His determination to distribute His favors according to His sovereign will and good pleasure.
I think it is important to remember that what Paul says here is in line with what he wrote earlier about justification: people are justified not through what they have done, but by God’s free grace (3:20-24).
Paul is stressing what God has done. God’s promises apply, not to those who can trace their physical descent to Abraham, but to those who have faith like Abraham (see Romans 4).
I know this passage can be hard to get our heads wrapped around, so it’s important for us to remember that Paul is trying to help us understand the gospel. He wants us to think the right things about it as it is the mind of the Christian that he is seeking to shape. What he wants us to see is the faithfulness of God.
*From what you have just read and considered, what is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live out this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the Good News today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest; Romans 8-16 For You: For reading, for feeding, for leading (God’s Word For You – Romans Series Book 2, Keller, Timothy.