“I have loved you,” says the LORD. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob's brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.”

Malachi 1:2-3

For hundreds of years, this little passage has been the focus of tremendous controversy. The reason for this is that you have God speaking and essentially saying, “I love Jacob and I hate Esau.” Paul even quotes this passage in Romans 9:13 talking about God’s sovereign choice.

The problem many encounter when they come to this passage is that they immediately see the words “hate” and “love” and they assign them emotional meanings. But, as you may already know, ‘love’ in the Bible has little to do with emotion and more to do with action. And in the same way, so does ‘hate’.

So what does God mean when he declares, “…Esau I have hated”? Well, throughout the pages of the Scripture Esau was always seen as the enemy of Jacob. Jacob was synonymous with faithful people while Esau represented the unfaithful people, those who trade spiritual for the physical. Those are the people God rejects – the ‘Esaus’ of the world.

It’s important to understand that before you claim faith in Jesus Christ, God must do a work in you. And there are some he elects to work in and some he does not. Romans 9:16 says, “(Salvation) depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”

So for those who are truly in Christ, we have the assurance that God began working in us long before we were even in him. And in Christ, you can have the assurance that he’ll never let you go!

YOUR SALVATION ISN’T DEPENDENT ON YOU, BUT GOD. SO IN CHRIST, YOU CAN BE ASSURED THAT GOD HAS YOU FIRMLY IN HIS GRIP!