The story of Jacob and Esau raises a number of important questions. Why did God choose Jacob in favor of Esau? Was it due to some kind of foreseen virtue on Jacob’s part? In reality, that approach fails on a number of levels, since Jacob is presented throughout Genesis as a schemer, deceiver, and master-manipulator. In Romans 9, Paul argues that ultimately, the story of Jacob and Esau is about “God’s purpose in election—not because of works, but because of him who calls.” Shane Rosenthal discusses this with Dr. Iain Duguid, author of Living in the Grip of Relentless Grace: The Gospel in the Lives of Isaac & Jacob.
We must not miss the significance of the fact that it is Jacob who acquires the name “Israel.” As Israel’s story as a nation begins to unfold, we find that they are just like Jacob—and this is not a good thing. This is not a heroic narrative of wonderful faithful people who triumph over all the odds through their strength of character. Israel’s story is the story of continuing grace that in spite of their sin, God continues his purposes through them. And ultimately, this story culminates in the person and work of Christ.Iain Duguid
Living in the Grip of Relentless Grace
Author: Iain Duguid
Time and time again, God uses insignificant and desperately sinful people to fulfill his marvelous plans. In short, he uses people like us! We find vivid examples of this truth in Isaac and Jacob, two men who couldn’t live up to Abraham’s example, let alone God’s standards – yet God never abandoned them. Iain Duguid’s study of their stories in Genesis shows us how the gospel triumphs not through human effort but through God’s relentless grace. His exposition and application will encourage readers who grapple with their shortcomings in the light of Christ, as well as aid teachers in tracing the golden gospel thread woven through the Old Testament.
Putting Amazing Back into Grace
Author: Michael Horton
“The gospel is a very specific announcement,” says Michael Horton. “It’s a message delivered from God to people in a precarious and hazardous spot–that is, to people like you and me.” But what exactly is that message? What does it mean to be “saved by grace”? Now revised and updated, Putting Amazing Back into Grace reminds us of the Reformation’s radical view of God and his saving grace, the liberating yet humbling truth that we contribute nothing to our salvation. Horton lays out the scriptural basis for this doctrine and its implications for a vibrant evangelical faith.