10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; 11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” (Romans 9).
The word “hate” here means the same thing it means in every other place it’s found in the Bible — as in, really, really, really despise. And in the context here, it means God hates (really, really, despises) the works and efforts of man to please Him. He despises the very thought of anyone being chosen and called on the basis of their own personal merit. He despises the very idea of anyone thinking they can choose Him. The truth is, if He did not first “choose” us and “call” out to us by grace, none of us would ever choose Him and call out to Him in faith. God’s choice of us stood long before we ever stood for Him, and He despises and rejects all pride in putting man’s choice ahead of His.
Go ahead, read these verses at least 3-4 more times. Seriously, do it. Let it sink in. Let the grace of God penetrate deep into your soul. Bask in the unmerited favor the holy and righteous Judge of all the universe bestows upon you. Revel in it. Splash in it — even as a ragged vagabond would frolic in a fresh, cool oasis suddenly discovered on the brink of perishing in the middle of a vast, scorching desert.
Lord, Your grace is so wonderful that You despise any attempt to overshadow or diminish it. Help us This Day to live in such a way that Your grace is magnified above all else. Amen.