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I’m going to invite you to Romans Chapter nine. Romans Chapter nine is where we’re going to be together today. And Romans Chapter nine. Some of you that have been walking with the Lord, you know what Romans Chapter nine is Some some people like they get needed out in Romans chapter nine, ten, 11 man and the Romans nine, ten, 11. It is, I would say, probably one of the more challenging passages of scripture. And it might be one of the most divisive chapters in the body of Christ. So let me just say this before we jump into it. I’ll tell you some things specifically about the text, but I want to give you some some a broader perspective going into this. Some people, when we get into Romans chapter nine, they may understand what I what I what I’m saying and get mad. Some people may not understand what I’m saying and still get mad and then other people will not care what I’m saying. And I want you to know this morning I don’t want any of those things for any of us. That is not my my heart’s desire in this. Romans Chapter nine What makes this such a challenging passage is we’re dealing with the idea of salvation as it relates to the sovereignty of God. And I think the best place for us to be is in this position of humble orthodoxy, humble belief in the way that we approach it.
One of the things I’ve loved about our church is there are different theological positions, and some of you may be aware of what those are. I’m not going to share them all today, but as it relates to salvation and people get really dogmatic about it. And I think the reason is because we don’t like to often deal with tension in our lives. We like to resolve things and make things black and white immediately. But I find it in the area of God’s sovereign sovereignty as it relates to salvation, that that it’s helpful to have a humble orthodoxy among God’s people. It’s not to say there isn’t a right or wrong, and you certainly should study what you believe and know what you believe. But we’re not here to beat each other up with what we believe. We want to walk with God in humbleness before him and encouraging one another in the truth of who God is. One of the beautiful things I have appreciated about our church is the way that we wrestle through theology. We understand what truth is. We understand the foundation of truth. We hold to the the creedal statements of the ancient church as they walked in the truth of who God is willing to give their lives for it. That is important. And it’s also important understand we’re all not in the same place. And in order to to grow with that, there needs to be a place of humility to encourage one another along those lines.
And so. Romans Chapter nine is is one of those positions that as we come to this text, it’s it is a it is a beautiful passage of scripture if it’s treated with the right heart. And that’s the way we’re going to engage it today. Because as you look at Romans chapter nine, let me just tell you where they’re at. As we look at the story, the apostle Paul knows he has laid out for us the beauty of salvation. And we get to chapter 12. He’s going to work with us on how to live that out. We want to look at how to live that out. But as you get to nine, ten, 11, we come to a place where the Jewish people are wondering who in the world are they in the midst of all this? Are they just chopped liver? Does God not care what happened? They they were God’s chosen people, God working specifically through them. Now, all of a sudden it looks like that God has just gone to the Gentiles and left them in the dust. You look at the Old Testament, God is dealing with Jewish people. You get to the New Testament. It seems like it’s God’s predominately moving into the Gentile territory and the Jews find themselves asking the question, Where are we specifically? In the church, in Rome? In the church in Rome, the the Caesar of the day had expelled the Jewish people from Rome.
And so the church in Rome found themselves as a mix of June Gentile. All of a sudden the Jews get expelled and they’re just Gentile. And then the Jews were allowed some years later to return back to the church. But when they get back to the church, it’s just not the same. And they’re wondering where do they fit in and how can they move forward There They’re seeing this challenge of this relationship with God, and they’re just not quite sure what what that step is for them. These Jewish Christians are looking at at how they were God’s chosen people, and all of a sudden they’re just a little bit lost in that. And part of it is because of their theological understanding of what they thought God would do in the Jewish mindset. When the Messiah was proclaimed to come, they had developed this theology in their mind of a of a geopolitical leader that God would would come for his people. And he would set up this geopolitical ruling and he would show himself with the Jewish people and the Jewish people would bring this freedom to all of all of the people. But when the Messiah died, it sent them reeling. They didn’t understand because their theological ideas of who the Messiah should be versus what Jesus did was was not the same. The king that they came to praise remember right where Jesus was crucified, they said, bless it as he who comes in the name of the Lord, and all of a sudden he’s being crucified and the people even chant, Crucify him.
They, in their mind, didn’t think that the Messiah would give his life in this way. And so they’re trying to understand exactly what God is doing and how the Jewish people fit in this. Do God forget about them. And what about the Apostle Paul who’s called the apostle to the Gentiles? Does Paul not even care about his own people? Do I matter in a particular sense? You look at something like that and you think, Well, I’m not Jewish. I don’t see how it’s relevant. But I will say for you, you know what it’s like to be in a. A place in your life where where things all of a sudden changed, maybe even radically, and you’re not even sure what the next step is like. How can you even move forward? What is it that you you can do? And and you have this sense of of of life and this disorientation. And maybe to be honest, things were changed so drastically. You’re you’re grieving. You’ve suffered a loss, you had this expectation and and it didn’t it didn’t come to fruition. It wasn’t fulfilled. This isn’t how things were supposed to work out. And now you’re stuck. And you’re wondering what tomorrow should be like and how you can even move forward.
Things aren’t what you thought they should be. And that’s how we’re going to approach today’s passage, is answering the question or looking at how to get unstuck. And this is where the Apostle Paul starts communicating to us. He he says, Look, in order for your life to move forward, here’s here’s what you really need to begin. And you need to find a tribe of people to run with. And more specifically, and this is the first point in your notes, finding a Christ centered community for which to belong. If you really want to find your identity, the purpose of your existence, you really need a people that are centric in their their Christ thinking in life and and surrendering to him. And in fact, you know, as I thought about writing down point number one, I tell you, I like it started off just real small and then it got longer and longer and longer. I think it was turned into a paragraph. And then I went back real small because when I when I think about Christ centered community, there’s a lot of people that claim to follow Christ in this world. They have no idea who Jesus even is. I’m a Christian because I follow Christ. And then you ask him Who’s Christ, and then I’ll have an idea at all and what the biblical Christ is. But when we talk about Christ, what, what, what I mean, in a Christ centered community, I mean a biblically based Christ centric community that expresses themselves in a caring concern for the people around them, meaning what you believe should should be seen in how you live.
Because how you live really demonstrates what you ultimately believe. And we’re not just talking about a crisis in our community by name. We’re talking about a crisis in our community in the way they demonstrate it. They know the truth of God and they live the truth of God. And in Romans chapter nine, in order to help his Jewish friends, which are his people, to be able to move forward, this is exactly where Paul starts in this place of being disoriented. And they’re trying to figure out how they fit in. They’re looking at the promises of God and these expectations. They don’t feel God quite fulfilled and they’re wondering if God’s done with him. And Paul starts with, Look, here’s my heart for you. Here’s here’s the desire. Romans Chapter one, verse one. He says this I ain’t speaking the truth in Christ. I am not lying. My conscience bears bears me witness in the Holy Spirit that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. Let me stop right there for a minute and just just say a few things about the Apostle Paul. Number one, when you think about finding a Christ centered community in which to belong to number one, what should take precedent is the desire to know biblical truth.
I know a lot of people that don’t want to just get into Romans Chapter nine because it’s a challenging passage. But I want to be honest. If you want to belong to a good community of God centric people, you don’t shy away from hard truth. You want people that will speak the truth to you compassionately, but to be honest, even in difficult times. Biblical truth. And that’s what Paul says. Look, I’m not lying. This is the truth in Christ. This is central to who we are. That’s what Paul said in the first eight chapters of Romans. He laid it out beautifully for us and our identity in Christ. And and so, Paul, he’s biblically based. Number two, you need a community that’s empathetic. And this certainly is the apostle Paul. Can I tell you one of the the greatest super powers that you’re going to have in making influence in this world is the power of empathy. Being able to meet people where they are and relate to them and help understand how to find Jesus in the midst of those challenges and walk with them. That was the Apostle Paul. You know his testimony, right? He was one that hated the church so much. He persecuted Christians to the point that some say the apostle Paul was killing Christians. He, at the very least, was throwing them in jail and his life was radically turned upside down because he met Jesus.
And so the apostle Paul knows right where they are and he’s meeting them in this need and he’s empathetic towards that as he he shares at the end of verse two, he says that he has this unceasing anguish in his heart. It’s always on his mind. That’s how much he cares about them. And in so doing, it’s it’s demonstrated through a humble, sacrificial life of service. I think one of the one of the most healthy attributes that you could see in Gods people is an attribute of humility. That’s demonstrated in servant hood. And this is certainly the apostle Paul. He’s not about what he can get. He’s about what he has to give for the benefit of others. That’s what makes beautiful community. The truth of who God is empathetic towards the people willing to be sacrificial as a humble servant for the benefit of others because we know who we are apart from Christ. And we know who we are only because of Christ. And so it’s not this position of arrogance or this position of putting myself before others, but living like Jesus as he lived to serve. So we are called into this world to be his servants, his hands and feet, and and ultimately just godly character. Godly character is something that I don’t think we can overemphasize in our culture today. And our culture, we put charisma before character, and that works in the entertainment industry.
But the church is not the entertainment industry. When God’s people act in ungodly ways, especially among its leadership, the effects on the body of Christ can be devastating. People reel from that. To be the practical hands and feet of Jesus in a humble way, for the benefit of others holding on to truth that that is who God calls us to be that kind of community. You want to move forward. You need those kind of people around you that that helps us understand what what God desires for us to do, because God calls us not to do it as individuals. We’re not lone rangers. But to do it with one another, We don’t succeed on our own. We succeed together. There’s that old African proverb I quote every once in a while. If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together. And this is what Paul is saying, just to understand his heart for his people, because the people are feeling like, Paul, have you abandon us? Like you’re one of us, You’re Jewish, but you’re the apostle to the Gentiles. And I feel like you don’t even care about us. And Paul’s saying that nothing could be further from the truth. Even when you look at the Apostle Paul’s ministry, every time he went into a new town or almost every time he went into a new town, if there was a Jewish synagogue the first place Paul went in order to start a church was to the Jewish synagogue.
He began with his own people as he preached the gospel and went on these journeys for the Lord. And he goes on in verse three, and it says this I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen, according to the flesh. I mean, Paul is saying here the extent for which he’s willing to go, like, I’ll give up my life in Christ so that all of you can have life. If I had that ability, my heart so much wants this for you. I’ll let go of what I have so that you can gain it. And Paul, in this moment, he’s mimicking Moses. And Moses is a great leader. He said the same thing on behalf of Israel. There’s a story in this chapter 32 when when Israel was they were slaves in Egypt, and God delivered them from that slavery. And he took him to Mount Sinai and he gives them the Ten Commandments very first commandment, don’t create any idols, have no other gods before him. Right. And Moses, when he comes off the mountain, what does he discover? Israel on his time on the mountain, Israel built an idol and now they’re bowing down to a golden calf. And God is furious and God saying He’s going to pour out his wrath against these people whose hearts are hardened against him.
But Moses and verse 32, he says this, But now to the Lord, if you forgive their sins, you will forgive their sins. But if if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written. Same heart as as the Apostle Paul that his heart was for his people to know the truth of who God was and walk in it. You know, and Paul is saying these words. These are not just words on a page. His his heart certainly demonstrated it. Well, some people say at the height of Paul’s ministry, he averaged upwards of walking 20 miles a day just to be able to share the gospel with people. And I think in in Christianity in our time, it’s difficult to get people just to walk across the street, let alone 20 miles, just for the opportunity to tell people about the Lord. But this was the Apostle Paul’s heart in this passage. Paul was a doer. He’s not just saying things, and that is important when you come to Romans Chapter nine, because I find some people, when they get to these chapters, they just become these armchair quarterbacks where they think it’s their job to fix everybody’s bad theology and that’s all they do. Like you would think in talking to them, the only passages of scripture they know are Romans nine, ten and 11. God calls us to get in the game to not be a benchwarmer, to do something for Christ, and to carry this kind of heart for people in the world.
And Paul, he goes on from there and says, This is not just my heart, but when I think about this, this is what God has done in all of us together. In verse four, He talks about the way God has moved in his people. He says they are Israelites and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises to them belong the patriarchs. And from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all blessed forever. Amen. Paul in these verses. He recalls the good hand of God to Israel. They were a lost group of slaves. No hope. God lifted them up and one step at a time he started to write his beautiful story over them. And Paul knows he belongs to the Jewish people. That’s his lineage. He’s talking now to these first century Jews, and he’s just saying, look at the story that God has created because of community as as they’ve been together, as God’s people. This is the way that God has reflected his faithful hand and ultimately God brought forth the Messiah. He says in this passage, to deliver you are God’s special people. So God is saying to Israel, Now, when you read a passage like this and you see God’s special people and you think to yourself, Well, I’m not Jewish, the tendency is we could get jealous.
Like, why did God work with them and not with us? Right? And we could get jealous about that. And and, you know, when I look at a passage like this, I’m thankful that God worked in a specific way through a specific people. I know Israel in the first century, by and large, they rejected the Messiah, not all of them, but a good majority. A majority of them rejected the Messiah. But if it wasn’t for Jewish people, I wouldn’t be a Christian, right? My favorite people are Jewish people. Jesus. There you go. Right. The Apostle Paul is the New Testament. It’s written Old Testament, written by by Jewish people. And even today, you’ve got, you know, Jewish people that I still love. Like, I don’t know, Stan Lee or Jerry Seinfeld or Barbra Streisand. What, they’re Albert Einstein or Steven Spielberg, Right. Like a lot of great Jewish people. But you look at this passion, you’re like, man, God’s chosen people. Right? Privileged position. But can I tell you, I would never want to trade places? I would never want to trade places because I also recognize the target that brings. Like, if you recognize in this world there are spiritual forces at work. And not not all godly. But. But satanic. I think one of the best ways to put a target on yourself is to say this Hey, Satan, God’s going to work through a specific people, through a specific tribe, in a specific lineage.
Here’s where it’s going to happen, right? That’s like saying here’s here’s where you need to come to attack. And and when you look at the Jewish people, I think that you can see certainly there have been hardships that have come with. But there’s also this beautiful story that God has written in them because. They were God’s people. And because when I look at a passage like this and I just think about what it means to be a part of a group that are focused on the Lord and desire to live for his glory, what a beautiful story he writes. Even in Alpine Bible Church. Like when I think of our history as as God’s people, I’ll look at our past and I just see the beautiful hand of the Lord. I think about the way that we started a church, and I’ve read in my life, I don’t know how many church planting books of all the things that you’re supposed to do. And I will tell you, we did none of those. We did not do those. We just started this church as a humble Bible study with the hopes of seeing a church birthed out of that. And and what we’ve seen every year is just this steady, healthy growth of people that love Jesus and want to make him known in this valley.
And I look at our past and I realize, man, we’ve been in like five or six different locations and we’re looking at another location now and and just seeing God each step of the way, being faithful to us. It is a beautiful story. God’s written and it’s written as a community. When God’s people run together for the benefit of one another to His glory, God does a beautiful thing. When our hearts are willing to surrender to him and to embrace his truth and to know him and encourage one another, God does a beautiful work. And as much as I rejoice in the past as I look to the future, I realize our best days are still in front of us. And as we walk with that temperament before the Lord, it’s it’s incredible what God, what God can do and has done so find a Christ centered community in order to to get unstuck. And point number two then is cling to the faithfulness of God. Cling to the faithfulness of God. Sometimes we go through some difficult times. And we need to be reoriented to finding God in it. I’m. Sometimes in life we go through a loss. We feel like we’ve been lied to, maybe a person lied to us, or maybe our expectation of who God was isn’t really what Scripture says. And we’ve got to relearn who God is.
And in finding the faithfulness of God in that is important. In fact, in Romans chapter nine, verse six, I think this is really the thesis statement for nine, ten and 11. There’s three chapters, but it says this. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. So Israel, in this moment, they’re looking at the way God’s working in Gentiles and they’re thinking, wait a minute, we’re we’re the promised people. We were the God’s special people. This is where the promise is supposed to come. We have this expectation that God is supposed to meet what’s happening. Does God not care about us? Is he not going to deliver his promises? Is God not faithful to that? Has he failed? That’s where they’re they’re challenged by this. But in their mind, there’s almost this this idea of this elite ism as God’s chosen people, and this is all of God’s chosen people, and that’s it. And so Paul goes on a little further and says this For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they’re his offspring. But through Isaac, shall your offspring be named? This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of promise are counted as offspring. By the way, a good parallel passage to this is the book of Galatians really all of chapter three.
But here’s what he’s saying is just because you physically belong to Abraham doesn’t mean you spiritually belong to Abraham. God doesn’t care who your daddy is. God cares about who you are in light of who he is. And for the Jewish people. They were claiming this lineage that gave them this special privilege. And what what God is saying is, look, there is physical Jew, but then there is also spiritual in what you believe. And according to God’s promises. And what God’s heart is, is that you trust in Him. It’s possible to be born physically Jewish and never trust in the Lord. And Paul is acknowledging that in this passage and encouraging us to say or discover, I should say, where your heart is in Christ. Like if someone were to say to you, What makes you a Christian? If you call yourself a Christian, what makes you a Christian? If your answer has really anything to do with you and not with what Christ has done for you, your answer is not right. If your answer is something like, Oh, it’s because I go to church on Sunday, or it’s because I grew up in a Christian home, or I read the Bible, or I just say the name of Jesus because I’m fond of the name of Jesus, none of those things make you a Christian. I’m glad that you’re given over to to the things of God in that way.
I’m glad you’re you think favorably about those things, but ultimately, your position in God rests in your faith in Jesus and what He has accomplished for you. The only way into eternity is through the cross of Christ. The only way into that relationship with God is based on what Jesus has accomplished on your behalf, nothing to do with what you do for Him. Now. God certainly wants you to live for His glory. But our living for His glory is based on an understanding of His love extended for us because of his life given to us. I’m not trying to earn anything with God. When I live my life in this world for Jesus, it’s not so that God accepts me. It’s because He already has in Christ, as I’ve put my faith in what Jesus has done. And this is what Paul is alluding to in this passage. It’s not it’s not you that makes you special. It’s what Jesus has done on your behalf. In fact, he goes on from in Deuteronomy, there’s this passage where God knows the the uniqueness of of our heart, or I should say, the depravity of our heart, that when we get some favorable things that go our way, our tendency sometimes as people is to start to think, well, it’s because we’re better than them. But in Book of Deuteronomy, Moses says to the people of Israel before they even get the opportunity, he’s answering the question, Do you know why I got picked you? It’s not because you’re great.
In fact, look at this Deuteronomy chapter seven, verse six, for you are a people wholly to the Lord your God. The Lord, your God has chosen you to be a people for His treasured possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. And here, here comes. It was not because you were more in number than any other people, than the Lord that the Lord sent His love on you and chose you for. You were the fewest of all the peoples. But it was because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that He swore to your fathers that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh King of Egypt. What God is saying here is the reason I picked you is not because you’re great. In fact, you’re dinky. The reason I picked you is because I’m great. And I have love that I want to extend towards you. It’s because of his grace. And he goes on a little bit further in Romans and he and he gives us these illustrations. And in order to think through that, he says to us in verse number nine, in Romans, chapter nine, verse nine, he says, For this is what the promise said about this time next year, I will return and Sarah shall have a son.
God comes in the life of Abraham and Sarah. If you remember the story, we talked about this in Romans chapter four, God didn’t pick Abraham and Sarah because they were great. In fact, the God promised through Abraham and Sarah, he would bring a son, and through that son would come the Messiah who would bless all nations and all people groups. But when you study the life of Abraham and Sarah, what you find is Sarah was barren and in her seventies and she has a child. How many of you in your seventies would be like, Yes, please. Right? Most of you, we’d have to resuscitate on the spot. Like, But. But this was Sarah. She was barren. God would have had to miraculously do this. And not just that. Abraham was a pagan guy growing up in a pagan land with a pagan name. It wasn’t anything that Abraham did, but it was God’s grace working through Abraham. It shows the the magnificence of who God is that He would even intervene in our lives to provide a way for us to escape and to find a hope of eternity in him through a relationship with God. And so God is pointing to to the faithfulness of his hand on our behalf. And he goes on and further and he in the second example he gives to us is verse ten, he says, And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, in order that God’s purpose of election might continue.
Nor because of works, but because of Him who cause she was told the older will serve the younger. When Isaac had two children, God picked one of the two children for the Messiah to still come through. The Messiah can only come through one family. So he’s saying it’s going to come through Jacob. And he tells us before they were even born, this was determined the God had chosen to to work through the the life of Jacob. And it wasn’t based on any good works. It wasn’t based on good deed or bad deed. The God was identifying for us where the Messiah would come, and it is a gift to us. And the reason it is a gift to office. It gives us the opportunity to prophetically understand where this Messiah would come from, so that when he arrived, we would not miss him. God specifically calling out for us the lineage of Jesus so that when Jesus shows up, people could turn to Jesus and receive what Jesus was going to do for us on the cross. Are saving King. It’s not based on them, but based on him. In fact, when you look at the life of Esau and the life of Jacob, neither of them are impressive.
Neither of them. Jacob was a deceiver and a liar. And Esau was apparently stinky and hairy. It’s the best one to say, like Esau. At one point, Jacob decided he wanted to trick his father, who was going blind. And he decided, you know, the way that I’m going to trick my father, I want my father to think that I am my brother, Esau. And the way that I’m going to do this, I’m going to kill a goat and skin it and I’m going to put the goat skin on my skin and my dad’s going to think I’m Esau. Like, how hairy and smelly do you have to be that that that your dad is like, Oh, yeah, go. That’s his Esau, right? This is that is crazy. And when you when you look at it, I’ve heard him describe this way, like the difference between Jacob and Esau. The Jacob was a mama’s boy. He probably he probably drove a Prius. He cried at every Hallmark movie, and he always wore socks with sandals. That’s that’s that’s Jacob and and Esau. He always smelled bad. He was hairy, like a woolly mammoth. And his idea of fun was was monster truck rallies in country music. Like, either way is I don’t know if you if you want to relate to one of them, go ahead. But but they’re just not that impressive. It’s not. And if you drive a Prius, I’m sorry, but.
It’s not about them. It’s about him. His faithfulness. His faithfulness. And point number three then, is this to trust in the sovereignty of God? You need a group to run with. One that cares enough about you to share hard things. Truthful, biblical things. But also does it in a way that not not to destroy you, but to serve you, to bless you, to empathize with you, to care for you. You should be that person. For others. God, God’s community, above all other communities in this world, understands the sacredness of human beings. Everyone’s created in the image of God. Every life matters created in the image of God. And we also understand the devastation of sin. And the destruction it brings. But in the midst of that, we need reminded of a faithful God. And not only that, to to trust in his sovereign hands. Sometimes we can’t see how God will work it out. But for faithful. We get to experience that journey with him. The encouragement for us in realizing at some point in your life, if you haven’t walked a hard road or you’re not in a hard road right now, at some point you you will be. And can I. Can I just encourage you? Typically it’s caused by other people. Don’t throw mud. Don’t quit. Keep walking with the Lord. And watch what a sovereign hand can do. Um, and I want to talk to us about the importance of that through this, this last verse, this last verse I’m going to look at with you and a really I saved this verse for the end because I realized in all the other verses previous to this, because this verse is is such a gut punch verse, or at least a loud verse, you’re going to forget everything I said Anyway, once you read verse 13 and verse 13, it says this as is written.
Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated. What do you do with a verse like that is, especially as it relates to the sovereignty of God? Like, you know, you expect to hear people hate. But now you turn to a verse and you’re thinking, Oh, no, God hates. Like, what do I do with a with a verse where God hates? How in the world can God hate and God is he certainly using strong language in this passage, I think, to awaken our soul to something important. But but he’s also saying, if you think in terms of Jacob and Esau, he hated Esau even before he saw was born. Now what in the world does it mean that God hates? That’s a that is a hard verse to work through. But when you understand what God is, communicating is actually a powerful verse for God’s people and resting in the sovereignty of God as you walk with the people of God to see the will of God accomplish in their lives because they’ll be faithful.
So what does this mean? Let me let me give you another passage just to compound this for a minute. And Luke, chapter 14, verse 26. This is Jesus speaking. I think Jesus is speaking similarly to the way the Apostle Paul is speaking in. Romans and the Apostle Paul is actually quoting the Old Testament. When he’s talking about hating, he’s always quoting Malachi, which we’ll deal in just a minute. Deal with that in a minute. But in Luke chapter 14, look what Jesus says, verse 26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother. It’s talking about hating your mom and dad. Jesus is talking about hating your mom and dad. That’s only supposed to be true for mother in law. I’m just kidding. Not mother in law’s. But he’s talking about hating. If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters and, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Not only do we see Paul talking about hating quoting from God in the Old Testament, that’s talking about hating Jesus is here in this passage, talking about hating what? What do we do with a passage like that? Does Jesus really want you to hate your mother and father? Well, you probably already know the answer to this, right? It’s no.
Not in the sense that you might be thinking about in any way. God does not desire for you to hate your mother and father. In fact, in Matthew 1919 says honor your father and mother. So. So what is God saying in this passage when he talks about the idea of hate, what Jesus is saying in Luke? He’s describing for us a reorientation of your life. He’s using actually a Hebrew idiom to drive home a point of of how we should perceive our relationship with God in light of all other relationships. There is this reorientation of our life around the idea of who God is, and that takes priority over everything. Don’t put your parents before the Lord. Don’t put your children before you, Lord. Don’t put your spouse before the Lord. Reorient all of your life in the Lord. And I’m not saying you have to rank at God first, people second. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying God influences how you see everything else. There is this reorientation of your life in Christ now, in relationship to all of your your other relationships. In fact, in this passage, this is exactly what Paul is referring to. And Malachi, chapter one versus one, two, three. You’ll find in verse two, God starts to talk about His love for Jacob, and in verse three, his hatred for Esau. But when God is referring to this, he’s referring to this in covenantal relationship.
God is certainly not happy with what Esau lineage has done, the Edomites. That is true. But but what God is ultimately talking about here is, is not this emotion of hate, but rather understanding covenantal relationship. And the priority covenantal relationship takes over all other relationship in the book of Malachi, Israel is in a position where they feel forsaken by God. That God has abandoned them and they don’t know what the future holds. And what God does is God goes back to the promise of Jacob. Guy goes back and reminds them of how they are his chosen people. And that God is going to be faithful to them. And God, through Jacob, recognizes this covenant relationship. So Jacob and Esau become this identity of people groups and this lineage that was set forth and that God had proclaimed through through these two that he was going to covenantal he work his good will out in the life of Jacob in order to bless all nations. That was a promise of Abraham, that through Abraham there would come a seed, and through that seed would bless all nations. And for us, it would maybe work like this. A marriage is a covenantal relationship. And if I were to take this idiom, this phrase and use it my own life, it would say, I love my wife, Stacie, and everyone else I hate. I don’t really hate you, but what it’s recognizing is there is this reorientation of relationship where she takes precedent in a way that you guys just don’t.
And I’m not sorry for that. There’s a priority in my relationships because of this covenant. But but here’s the reality. When we prioritize reorient in that covenant. The result of that. Is everyone else is blessed to. So in your marriage, when that covenant takes priority. When it’s given the proper recognition and treatment that it deserves. Not only is it beneficial for the husband and wife, but so does with the children in the family. And so it is with the neighbor down the road and your church community and the people you work with. When when that relationship is aligned properly, what happens is everyone else is blessed because of it. And in that sense, this is what I think this passage is saying to us. The beautiful privilege of what it is and covenantal relationship to know God when we reorient our life in that way, when we choose to allow God to take precedent and we surrender our lives to him, the result of that is everyone else is blessed because of it. We trust in the sovereign hand of God. Now, I know some people, when they look at a passage like this, they’ll say something like, Well, you know, in America, we’ve got to treat everybody equally. So I don’t feel right that God didn’t didn’t work through Esau, too. He should be working through Jacob.
And so let me just say, in terms of working through Jacob, and he saw there was only one messiah needed and it was helpful for us to know where that Messiah was going to come from. So I’m thankful God worked through Jacob and he identified that he was going to work through Jacob so that we can see the messianic promises fulfilled. And because that messianic promise is fulfilled now, all of of people in the world could be blessed through what God has accomplished, through the lineage of Jacob. There was this place where all nations, all people groups can be blessed through it, including the Edomites. If if whatever the people group is or person would humble themselves before the Lord and receive what Christ has done. But in addition to that. When you realize the depravity of the human human soul. The shocker isn’t that God didn’t pick Saul to. The shocker is that God picked anyone at all. God doesn’t owe us anything. The moment Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, God could have been done and he would have been completely just to do so because he’s perfect and holy. But he didn’t. God chose by his love, not because of us, but because of His grace to use his sovereign hand to work in this world, that we would have the opportunity to know him because of what Christ has done. So let me close with this illustration. There was a.
A man who is getting open heart surgery. And just before the surgery, he had a moment with the doctor and he asked the doctor, Doctor. Can you fix my heart? And the doctor just looked at him confidently and said yes and walked out of the room. After the 12 hours surgery, when the man finally came to, he decided to ask the doctor another question as the doctor entered in the room to check on him. And he said, In light of the blocked arteries that I had when I checked into the hospital, how much blood supply do I have now? To which the doctor said all you’ll ever need. And when this man was finally discharged from the hospital, the wife had an opportunity to interact with the doctor, and she too had a question for him. And she asked the doctor, What about my husband’s future quality of life? What can I expect? And the doctor remarked this way. He paused, and he said. I fixed his heart. But the quality of his life is determined in how he responds. Because the same is true for us this morning. Whatever’s happened in your life. Whatever is taking place, there’s been enough grace. That has led you to a moment to gather in this room to seek God through his word. If you don’t know. Jesus. Seizing the moment that God has given you. To take the opportunity and a group that wants to run with you.
To trust in his faithful sovereign hand that has worked this moment out. That you could walk with him and know him. It’s a beautiful place to be. It is a gift and a privilege to even have an opportunity to know God’s world. Because God’s Word, because God, God owed us nothing. But yet here, he said. And for those of us that that know the Lord. To understand the life. We’re going to go through difficult things and we’re going to have trials. It doesn’t matter belong to Jesus or not. Those those things are true. But but in the midst of those trials, to be reminded of what the Apostle Paul is saying to us in this passage of Scripture, the Lord has done this for you, but your quality of that has to do with how your heart surrenders to him, to experience what God desires to do in your life. And that begins with this. Finding a tribe to run with. And trusting in the faithful hand of God. And his sovereignty as he works things out. Sometimes we don’t always see what’s out before us. Sometimes the day just feels cloudy and and we’re not even quite sure where that next step is going to take us because we don’t know how God can work it out. But what God does remind us, his people in this passage in us over and over again. If we’re willing to just take that step, we get to enjoy that beautiful journey of what God creates through his people and his community as they trust in him.