Question: (Combination of several): The Lord frequently singles people out for severe treatment....I sometimes wonder why I keep trying when all I get is cursing from the Lord whom I have tried to please for so many years. | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

Question: (Combination of several): The Lord frequently singles people out for severe treatment. What about the person who continually sows good seed but reaps a whirlwind? Or the person who has always done the right thing but is in penury? Esau didn't sin in the womb, yet before he was born God hated him, predestined him to eternal torment, and blessed Jacob, the cheat. Is this a good God? The mistreatment I so often get confirms Calvinism's doctrine of pre-election. I sometimes wonder why I keep trying when all I get is cursing from the Lord whom I have tried to please for so many years.

Response: No one has been guided by God to mistreat you in order to confirm a false Calvinist doctrine! I sympathize with how you feel, but aren't you setting yourself up as more righteous than God?

You misunderstand the verse "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Rom:9:13). This is not "written" in Genesis but in Malachi:1:2-3: "I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau...." God is not referring to Jacob and Esau as individuals (as Calvinists erroneously insist) but to the descendants of Esau and Jacob: Edom and Israel. God hated Edom because of the way they treated Israel (which He knew would be the case before Esau's birth), and He continued to love Israel, in spite of all, because of His irrevocable promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Genesis:25:21-23 confirms Malachi one. God tells Rebekah, pregnant with twins: "Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." Clearly this is not about Jacob and Esau as individuals, but the nations and peoples descended from them! Otherwise, it would have been a false prophecy. Esau never served Jacob, but the nation Edom became subject to the people of Israel. The Bible does not teach that God predestined Jacob for heaven and Esau for hell! That Calvinist doctrine is not only wrong but maligns God's character! You were not cursed of God from eternity past!

Either you continue to excuse your "hard luck" and business and personal problems as caused by God's curse upon you as not one of the elect; or you confess and repent of maligning God in your heart all these years and of blaming Him for your problems, and begin to take responsibility yourself.

You complain against God for blessing that schemer, Jacob. But the Bible says that Esau "despised his birthright" (Gen:25:34), whereas Jacob valued it highly. No doubt both of these young men had heard of God's promise passed down from their grandfather Abraham and from their father Isaac: that this was an everlasting inheritance to a land their descendants would live in forever and ever, and even that the Messiah would be born from one of their descendants. But Esau despised it. Furthermore, Jacob must have been told by his mother what God had said to her about the descendants of the elder serving the descendants of the younger, which would surely mean that Jacob would inherit the blessing. Isaac must have heard this from Rebekah, so he, too, knew beforehand the will of God in this matter.

The way you formerly praised and worshiped the Lord was commendable, but only what He deserves from such pitiful creatures who are totally dependent upon Him. Why these trials have come upon you, I don't know. I have faced many seemingly hopeless trials out of which I learned a great deal. You might start with Deuteronomy:8:1-3, where God tells the Israelites that He led them through the wilderness and caused them to hunger and thirst to show them what was really in their hearts. God wants to restore you to Himself; He wants you to humble yourself before Him instead of seeing yourself as more righteous than He is and blaming Him for cursing you with disaster and predestining you to hell. God did not do that, and you need to repent of having even thought this of Him!

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