Why did God hate Esau

The Prophet Malachi - Chapters 1: 1-5

“Proclamation of the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi” (verse 1). Although Malachi prophesies amid the weak remnant of Judah and Benjamin returned from captivity, he does embrace in his mind Israeli.e. the whole people. In this he differs from Zechariah, who only has Judah and Jerusalem in mind. So the moral condition that Malachi describes applies to the whole people. Accordingly, the judgment also has a general character, just like the first coming of the Messiah in its scope encompasses the whole people (Lk 1.54; 2.10.25.32).

“I have loved you, saith the LORD; but you say: 'In what did you love us?' Wasn't Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD, and I loved Jacob; But I hated Esau ”(verses 2-3). “I loved you” - what a touching word! That is where God begins. It stands at the beginning of all of His relationships with people, of all of His ways with His people. From eternity the bliss of wisdom was with the children of men (Prov 8:31). And had not God also shown His love for Israel from the beginning by choosing them by His grace: “I loved Jacob”? Thereupon He had freed Israel from Egypt, had carried it on eagle's wings to bring it to Himself. He had led the people in the desert through the cloud to finally introduce them to the Promised Land. And even after His judgments had to be poured out upon this unfaithful people as proof of His unchanging character of righteousness and holiness - hadn't they finally restored the love of God and allowed them to return to their land? Could Israel doubt His love, which it had experienced so profusely, even for a moment?

God still proclaims the same word today. Although the final apostasy is becoming ever clearer, Christianity can hear the words daily: “I have loved you, says the Lord.” Isn't the cross of Christ the indisputable proof of this love?

Mustn't this undeserved grace find an echo in the hearts of the people? This is his answer: "In what did you love us“Can you understand such a hardening? After 60 years of experiencing the bitter consequences of their infidelity, the people, in the face of this new sign of grace, still have the boldness to ask: “In what way have you loved us?” They do not know the God with whom they are dealing and still less do they know themselves. They do not know that God never changes, and that while His judgments are unchangeable, His love is as unchangeable as His righteousness. That is the first trait of this people.

Is the State of Christendom Different? Not long ago [written 1911, translator's note] God struck the world with earthquakes and floods in a way that has never happened in living memory. But what do those who profess to believe in God do? Instead of repenting, they ask: “Where is the love of God?” Nevertheless, even if all judgments of God in the past and present prove His abhorrence of evil, they ultimately serve to draw souls to Him and to show them to them that despite their sins, He wants their best. His love for people has not changed; it was revealed once and for all on the cross of Christ. Through the judgments God only wants to reach the conscience and, like the Israelites once did, to the bronze serpent, to the only remedy. There is no doubt that there is a righteous government of God in the world. But people should not only learn about God's righteousness, but also that their only source of help lies in God's love.

Instead, however, sinners use the righteous judgments of God as an opportunity to question the character of those who allow them. The human heart is not moved by anything. He doesn't even think about the fact that he only deserves dish. Instead of taking refuge in the grace of God, he says like the lazy servant: "I knew you were a hard man: you reap where you have not sown and gather where you have not spread" (Mt 25, 24). "What did you love us for?"

As with Israel, the first character trait is also with professing Christianity: indifference to the love of God, even ignorance of the character of God, especially in His government with her.

To the defiant question: In what did you love us? answers the LORD, showing Israel its origins: “Wasn't Esau the brother of Jacob? And I loved Jacob; But I hated Esau. On what was the election of Jacob based? When God said, “The elder will serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23), what made Him choose? Neither brother had done good or bad at that moment. So what made the difference between them was only the established purpose, the free election of God at the choice of grace (Romans 9). And why did He now say, “I loved Jacob”? Had him that behavior Jacob given an occasion to do so? The character of Jacob certainly has nothing attractive to us - how much less to God! There has never been a person whose belief was so fraught with fraud. But perhaps the works of Jacob, despite his character, had drawn the love of God? By no means few among the patriarchs led a life poorer in good works than Jacob, and Malachi himself gives us information about the nature of the works of his descendants. So on what was the Lord's love for this wretched man based, and then for this people, whose condition was just as wretched? It sprang from the heart of God alone, who wanted to reveal himself and show sinners who he is. So Israel's advantage came from the fact that God wanted to reveal Himself - His nature and His heart - to such wretched creatures as us.

But God adds, “I hated Esau.” Was there injustice and partiality with God because He hated this man? No way - the free choice of absolute God has nothing to do with hatred. In Genesis we find this choice: "The elder will serve the younger." But there we see no hatred for Esau. God does not pronounce the judgment on Esau from the start, but only in Malachi, the last prophetic book of the Old Testament. This means that God's hatred of Esau is the result of Behavior Esaus is. God had granted him, like his descendants, hundreds of years. During this time Edom was able to prove through his works whether it deserved the love of God. But it had proven on every occasion that it was the sworn enemy of God and His people. After all, it had filled the measure of its injustice by taking advantage of Jerusalem's plight. (Ob 10-14). Hence, because of his works, Edom becomes, for example, a judgment without mercy. Edom is the people "with whom the Lord is forever angry" (Mal 1: 3–5). The prophet Obadiah proclaims that it "will be cut off forever" and that "the house of Esau will have no one left" (Ob 10:18).

Henri Rossier

Source: www.bibelstudium.de/articles/2678