Is it fair for God to love Jacob and hate Esau?

by Matt Slick

"for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, 12it was said to her, "The older will serve the younger." 13Just as it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated," (Rom. 9:11-13).

We see that God loved Jacob and hated Esau, not because of anything that they did, but because of "God's purpose according to His choice," (v. 11).  Is this fair for God to do?  Yes, it is.

First of all, whatever God does is fair.  God can do no wrong, so if He loves one and hates another, it is fair.  Second, God owes us nothing.  He is not obligated to love anyone.  He loves out of the freedom of His will and plan, not because of anything in us.  He loves because of what is in Him.  Third, all people are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3).  This means that because we are all fallen and because we are all sinners, the "fair" thing to do is to let us all go to hell.  Fairness deals with what is right.  Since it is only God who is holy and pure and right, and not us, it is perfectly fair that all of us sinners be judged and condemned by God.  But, God does not choose to do that.  Instead, He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins so that we might be saved (John 3:16; 1 Peter 2:24).

So, yes it is fair that God loves one and hates another.  It is not fair, however, that God would send His Son to die for us so that we might be saved.  That wasn't fair.  That was sacrificial love.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.