Summary: The doctrines of election are all over the Scriptures. Here is a look at the main verses in the Pentateuch.
ELECTION, in the PENTATEUCH
From the beginning, God had a plan. His heart was not to have a people who would reject Him. But He willed to let them do that anyway. Then in His mercy He called out a people for Himself. A remnant. The elect. Otherwise, all would be lost. Why these and no others is the mystery. But as you will see later, their works is not the answer to that mystery, since God has created their works along with their faith.
There follows from my simple summary of this deep matter two streams of thought, seen in the rest of our searchings. You will see a God Who is not willing to lose anyone, yet hardening multitudes. A God who does not delight in the death of the wicked, who is angry with the sinner every day and will ultimately cast sinners into a lake of fire forever. A God who will be hailed forever as perfectly just and perfectly merciful.
The plan. But soon in Genesis we see counter-plans by Satan and humans. Is that plan separate from the holiness of God or has God placed it in their thinking? If it is separate, God has incorporated it into His own plan, so that ultimately His will will be done.
Let him that hath wisdom answer that one. Perhaps after we have examined the pertinent Scriptures, we will have that wisdom.
God knew the first humans would partake of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. He knew of the untold suffering and eternal damnation of billions of earthlings. Something compelled Him to go ahead with His Plan anyway. That something is within Himself. His glory. His purposes.
So did God determine to allow them all to be condemned, or did He actually decree their condemnation in advance? A harsh question that seems to have a harsh answer. Paul seems to have responded to this enigma in his epistles.
Paul. There's a man who knew his Bible. But not like we have learned it. His insights remind us of Calvin. That is, Calvin reminds us of Paul.
Questions, questions, as we progress in Genesis. Why did God not stop Adam from sinning? Or anyone, for that matter? Hitler, Stalin, and all the rest.
We read of some interferences in Genesis, actually. Abimelech (Genesis 20) was kept from sin with Sarah's wife. Why him and not the others? God's purposes, dear reader, always God's purposes.
It seems easy for us to guess why God chose Noah. The text tells us he was a just and blameless man. A good man. So God chooses good men? Not so fast. That line of thinking will not work for long. Later we will read that there are no good men in the ultimate sense. Noah himself seems to slip a bit after the flood.
But, assuming that righteousness that God saw in Noah, that favor that Noah found in God, do we know for sure that it was not God that placed His goodness in Noah to begin with? Was not Paul an obnoxious sinner who likewise found favor with God, mercy for the chief of sinners (I Timothy 1:6)? Why do we assume Paul's righteousness was of God but Noah's was of himself?
Nevertheless, Job also is introduced to us as a good man. By the end of the book of Job we realize what Job realized. "I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:6)." The original goodness may have been from God, indeed, but the book of Job is a description of an ever greater grace upon a man who might have died trusting in his own right-ness, or thinking it was his own.
In Psalm 18, David is convinced God loves him because of his righteousness. God does love right living. But David had some lessons to learn. He has a fuller picture of himself after the Bathsheba debacle. Psalm 51:5, "I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin my mother conceived me..."
Back to Noah. It is hard to ignore the fact that God totally decimated an entire world population, with the exception of a handful of believers who "found grace."
We don't get too much information about "Abram" before he becomes the leading character in the first portions of Genesis. Raised amidst pagan idols. How did he meet God? How did he know His voice? Why did God choose this one pagan man and call him His own?
But wait. Though he lived amongst pagans, his ancestry is traced back to the "good line" of Shem, son of Noah, namesake of the "Semitic" people. But were all those folks godly? Had they passed along the faith of the one true God, the God who sent the flood to judge earth's wickedness?