Looking at our world today, we hear different countries speak of democracy, which is the government of the people, for the people and by the people. Making it plain, we speak of an appointed government consisting of a head of government, the legislature, judiciary and the executive, to preside or govern a particular country, guided by the Magna Carta or the Constitution.
In the Constitution, we have clearly defined instructions, fundamental principles or established precedents to which a country, state or organisation is governed. So for a particular office, the officer occupying the office is not allowed to move away from its area of jurisdiction. The officer is confined to the instructions stipulated as defined in the constitution. There are lines that cannot be crossed, as there are fundamental rights.
In order to achieve this purpose of democracy, we put together what we call an election, because as defined above, it’s a government chosen by the people to govern them (the people). Through a properly organised election, a government is elected into office, an area of jurisdiction where certain tasks and responsibilities are carried out.
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual into public office. To elect means to choose or make a decision. There are electoral systems that are the detailed constitution arrangements and voting systems that convert the vote into political decision(s).
From God’s perception election is viewed differently because God does the election, as opposed to worldly election. He elects people based on his own choice because he has a plan and a purpose. This gives a picture of a script written for a particular drama. He chooses people whom He feels can act out his cosmic drama here on earth.
When we look at the story of Esau and Jacob in the sacred scriptures, we will see that their lives were pre-determined before they were born. How?
“Two nations are in thy womb, two peoples will be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger”. Genesis 25:23
This was the statement from the very mouth of God to their mother. So, whatever will happen to the children must flow with the plan of God. The process by which this is done is what we have defined as election from heaven’s perception.
The two sons were born and their names were called Esau (the elder) and Jacob (the younger). Esau was a very hard-working man while Jacob sat at home with his mother. Their father (Isaac) loved Esau because he was the typical son that every father will crave for; bringing food home to sustain his family. Rebekah loved Jacob. We should not forget that there was a plan that has been put in place by God, which must be fulfilled.
Esau comes back home one good day and was famished. Jacob had cooked a meal (I am sure these were all unplanned for by the boys, it occurred as a situation and a circumstance) and Esau approaches his brother for some food. He was faced with the challenge of selling his birthright in exchange for the food, which he did. This was not reported to their father or mother, but God was at work. The boys had been recruited and elected by God to act out his drama here on earth.
Isaac became old, he could not see and was about to pass on. He called Esau and instructed him to make some food for him at the end of which he will bless him and pass the baton for the next generation to him as his first born, as their custom was (again, God is at work here as well, because He has to carry out and work through the instruction He gave before the children were born).
Rebekah eavesdropped and overheard when Isaac was talking to Esau. She cooked the food and quickly called on Jacob, instructing him to take the food to their father before Esau would return.
Jacob took the food to their father and before he went he had to wear the skin of an animal to make him smell and feel like Esau. How did Rebekah know Isaac would try to do a check by feeling the hand of his son? Again, God was at work. Jacob was scared but he had to trust his mother.
Jacob took the food to their father and the first question Isaac asked him was, “who are you”. Jacob answered, “I am your son Esau”. Remember Isaac was blind. Knowing that human viewpoint will never assist divine plans but merely complicates matter even more. Isaac’s spiritual eyes were opened to the fact God had overruled and that Esau was not God’s choice.
If Isaac was not blind, that couldn’t have happened because sometimes we get so rigid that we want to do things based on what we know and what our custom depicts, knowing that the witnesses of the senses only confuses our faith in God. God was at work again.
God’s will was more important than Isaac’s plan or desire. It takes a great man to learn from being deceived that something was the will of God, and not get bitter about it.
Jacob got the blessing.
Because of Esau’s anger, Jacob was sent to stay with his uncle Laban. It was at Laban’s house through deception, that Jacob built his family, having four women in his life. All his thirteen children came from these four women. Again God was at work because he had to be hoodwinked into marrying Leah instead of Rachel. If he had been allowed to marry Rachel first, he would not have ended up with Leah. God is still in the process of bringing about a reality of his initial plan and purpose.
Now we do not know or have the blueprint/design for our lives, but one thing is certain, God is in control. Jacob and Esau both looked at their immediate need and desires or plan as it were, but God who gave the instruction at the beginning knew what He was working at. God was thinking about the NATION OF ISRAEL; a plan that was bigger than what Isaac, Rebekah, Esau, Jacob or Laban had.
To get the blessing from Isaac, Jacob had to put on a garment to feel like Esau, and still sound as Jacob. Esau deserved the blessing but God gave the blessing to Jacob. God also thought about Jesus in this story. We don’t deserve the blessing from God. Christ deserved it. God strips Christ and gives the blessing to the underserving (us). That is GRACE defined (unmerited favour). Therefore to get the blessing off God, we have to approach Him through our elder brother, Jesus Christ.
Known to God were all these things, His works from the beginning: all parties are allowed in the free existence of their own choice, to follow their course, ignorant that all the while, they were only contributing their share towards the fulfilment of God’s purposes.
So, Apostle Paul concludes by saying it does not depend on the will of human beings or exertion, but God, who owns the mercy and can decide upon whom He will show it.
Jacob I have loved, but Esau I hated: Jacob was God’s chosen/elected one. God decided to set his love on him, even before he was born and ere he was born. Now this is greatly unfathomable and indeed a paradox, and there are many who complain/quibble at and question this. I am not here to answer them. The Book says so; I can only obey without complain…when I grow up, I will have a better understanding, but for now I believe whatever the Book says!!!…Romans 9:13
Election starts with God, the process is in God’s hands and ends with God. Our works will not determine why God should elect us. It’s His choice.
I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me I should never have chosen him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with this special love.
God knows why He elected us, but that reason is not known to us, and certainly cannot be found in ourselves. I have never met anyone who ever thought that they deserved to be elected unto salvation. The very fact of this ELECTION proves that it must have been all of GRACE.