According to his own purposes ...

This son was our ancestor Isaac. When he married Rebekah, she gave birth to twins. But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.” In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.” -Romans 9:10-13 NLT

Some theologically oriented people use this passage to support a deterministic view of salvation where God chooses heaven for some and hell for others. I do not see this passage speaking to issues of eternal destination but about calling and vocation. Consider this thought from the forty-ninth chapter of the book of Isaiah:
"The Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name."
Isaiah believed that he was called to prophesy even before he was born. It speaks to me of divine foreknowledge and purpose. In these words Isaiah speaks to us about doing something that we were born to do. Can you relate to this? Have you ever experienced working in a job that you felt that you were born to do? I can and it was not a religious job.

What encourages me the most about this is the idea that God knows us so well that, even before we are born, he calls us to things that uniquely brings life to our lives. He called Jacob to be a shepherd and knew that Esau loved hunting. Jesus was the Messiah before he was born. What has he called you to? What are the things that brings life to your life?

Help us Lord to understand the things that you have called us to do - the things that bring life to our lives.

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