“What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! For he tells Moses, I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Romans 9:14-15)
Romans 9 is a tough pill for many people to swallow. God says he chooses some people for salvation, and not others. We think that’s unfair because we believe everyone should be treated exactly the same. God’s response is to say, “You’ve all rebelled seriously against me. I don’t owe mercy to anyone. But I graciously choose to extend mercy to some.”
Think about it this way: A few years ago, a billionaire bought a string of beachfront mansions in Kahala, then chose a few homeless families to live in them for $100/month. Imagine being a single mom with 3 kids, working 2 minimum-wage jobs, and you still don’t make enough to afford a place to live, so your family is living in your van. But then one day, some crazy billionaire offers you a $20-million mansion for $100/month. This is the best thing that’s ever happened to you!
Now imagine you’re a single mom with 3 kids living in your van, and you DIDN’T get chosen to live in a mansion. Is that unfair? You might be tempted to think that way. This billionaire could afford to buy a decent home for every single homeless person on the island. But if you think about it objectively, you realize he doesn’t owe that to anyone! Whatever he gives to any homeless family is pure mercy.
The difference between those homeless families and us is that none of those families ever did anything against that billionaire. He had never met any of them before in his life. We’ve all sinned against God. Repeatedly. Intentionally. Why should he give any of us anything? Praise God that he extends mercy and blessing to anyone who will humble themselves by his grace to receive it!