It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from
7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."
8 In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring.
9 For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."
10 Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac.
11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad-- in order that God's purpose in election might stand:
12 not by works but by him who calls-- she was told, "The older will serve the younger."
13 Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!
15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
16 It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?"
20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'"
21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-- prepared for destruction?
23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory--
24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
25 As he says in Hosea: "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one,"
26 and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.'"
Isaiah cries out concerning
28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality."
It is just as Isaiah said previously: "Unless the Lord Almighty had left
us descendants, we would have become like