3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
When Isaac was sixty, and Abraham a hundred and sixty, Esau and Jacob were born. Before their birth, the Lord said to Rebekah,
"Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger."
Upon this election, the apostle makes the following remarks, saying,
"When Rebekah had conceived 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 calleth; it was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Rom. 9:10-13; Mal. 1:2, 3).
This election had relation to the purpose of God revealed in the promises to Abraham and Isaac. He purposed to make "a mighty nation" of their posterity, out of whom "He should come that shall have dominion" (Numb.24:19). This Purpose could not be accomplished if left to the undirected will of man. Abraham would have made Ishmael his heir, and Isaac would have elected Esau, both of which, as events have shown, would have defeated, rather than have promoted, "the purpose of God."
The wild Arabs of the desert, who have descended from Ishmael; or the Edomites, the posterity of Esau; both of which races illustrate the moral obliquity of their fathers: would have been a sorry election in which the purpose of God might be established. The rejection of Ishmael, and the election of Jacob, prove the wisdom and foresight of him with whom the fathers had to do. He sees the end of all things from the beginning; and perceiving the future characters of the two races, he said by Malachi,
"I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness."
It may be remarked here, that the election of Scripture hath reference to "the purpose of God " in relation to the constitution of the kingdom. He hath elected its territory; He hath elected the nation to inhabit it for ever; He hath elected the king to rule over it; and He hath elected its saints to assist Him in the administration of its affairs. The election in all these cases has been "of him that calleth."
....God elects saints for His kingdom, not by foregone conclusions which are irreversible; but men are "elect through sanctification of spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:2). This reveals to us the means, and design of the election in relation to the present time. "Sanctification of spirit" is the means; "obedience and sprinkling of Christ's blood," the end.
Elpis Israel 2.3.