Summary: God is sovereign; He is trustworthy; He will save all who will believe in Him.
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
It was a rainy Sunday morning. As Harry turned into the main road, he saw ahead of him three bedraggled figures huddled under a single umbrella at the next bus stop. One was old Mrs Fletcher. She still insisted on getting to church by herself, despite her arthritis which was always worse in wet weather. There was Dr. Jones, the local GP to whom he literally owed his life. And the third person was Judith. Harry had had a crush on Judith for the past 6 months since she joined their church, but had never had the courage or the opportunity to ask her out. Harry had about 3 seconds to decide what to do. There was only one spare seat. Who should he offer a lift to? But 3 seconds was enough. He pulled to a halt, jumped out, passed the keys to Dr. Jones, helped Mrs Fletcher into the passenger seat, then modestly waved them good-bye as he huddled close to Judith under the umbrella. God’s sovereignty and our action so often go hand in hand. (Chris Appleby - Sermon Central)
This passage begins with a question which makes us ask, "Is God unjust in choosing Isaac over Ishmael and Jacob over Esau? Moses over Pharaoh and Israel over Egypt?" Paul responds, "Not at all! God is not under obligation to give mercy to anyone." In Malachi 1:2,3, the statement “Jacob I have loved but Esau I have hated” refers to the nations of Israel and Edom, rather than to the individual brothers. God chose Jacob to continue the family line of the faithful because he knew his heart was for God. But He did not exclude Esau from knowing and loving Him. God is sovereign; He is trustworthy; He will save all who will believe in Him.
Paul then refers to Isaiah 45:9 and 29:16. Man, the created one, does not have a right to question God who is wiser and is the Creator, just like the clay has no right over the potter. The Creator has the same authority over His creatures which came from dust. Paul is not saying that some of us are worth more than others, but simply that the Creator has control over the created object. The created object, therefore, has no right to demand anything from its Creator; its very existence depends on him. All of us deserve condemnation, not mercy. However, we are not excused from responsibility. Pharaoh had many opportunities to learn about the true God and trust Him, yet he refused and chose to rebel. We see in verse 23 that God prepares men for His glory, but sinners prepare themselves for judgment. We find in Moses and Israel how God showed the riches of His mercy. However, we see in Pharaoh and in Egypt that God revealed His power and wrath. Neither deserved mercy.
Am I submitted to God like the clay is to the potter? In other words, am I letting God conform me to His will? If so, my life should bring glory to God, and my actions should be those that please God.