But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes, I John 2:11.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple, Luke 14:26.
It doesn't take much reading to realize that one of two things is true. Either Jesus Christ is ordering his followers to walk in darkness, or there is more than one definition for hate in a King James Bible. Hate, as mentioned in our first sample is the essence of murder. When Moses severed three cities out of Israel for cities of sanctuary, he sought to keep innocent men from being killed by vengeful relatives. If a man accidentally killed his neighbor, he could flee to that city and the elders of that city would hold court to determine that the death had indeed been accidental.
The key to that determination was whether or not the man had hated the deceased before hand. Then Moses severed three cities on this side Jordan toward the sunrising; That the slayer might flee thither, which should kill his neighbour unawares, and hated him not in times past; and that fleeing unto one of these cities he might live, Deuteronomy 4:41,42. To hate, is to murder. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him, I John 3:15. The New Testament cast away the cloak of waiting for an actual homicide to take place. Long before a man ever takes the life of another, he is labeled as a murderer by God if he hates.
What then shall we say of this other hatred that Jesus Christ requires of us? And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren, Genesis 29:31. When Jacob hated Leah, did he hate her in the sense that he wanted her dead? No, he lavished the first priority on Rachel and gave Leah the dregs. If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn, Deuteronomy 21:15, 16.
We are getting a look into the nature of man. A man with two wives cannot love them both equally any more than a man cannot serve two masters. It goes against his nature. What a liberty is given to New Testament women when Paul said, let every woman have her own husband, I Corinthians 7:2, not one she was forced to share with another woman! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon, Matthew 6:24. There are certain conflicts in which it is the nature of the participants to place one thing as a priority above the other. In the bible this is called hatred. It is not synonymous with wanting the destruction of an enemy as was the case with our first definition of hate.
Which hatred therefore shall we ascribe to Romans 9:13, As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated? Did God foreordain Esau to hell? Was Esau a damned person even before he was born? Or, shall we simply believe what is written about them? And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger, Genesis 25:23. Doesn't the Bible simply say that God gave more to one than the other? Are we trying to say that to be servant to someone else is to be damned? Doesn't it simply say that the nature of God's choice between them was which one of them would get the primary blessing (loved), and which of them should get the lesser blessing (hated)?
The big bugaboo to people who see God as wanting one of them to be damned, and the other to have eternal bliss is Hebrews 12: 16,17. Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. You have to be a theological pipsqueak to ever think that this was dealing with Esau's eternal soul. The Bible actually records the whole scene of Esau's tears so that no one would ever be as mislead as some are.
And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father, Genesis 27:34. There is no place for repentance. He cannot undo what he has done by changing his mind. Esau had been profane and sold his birthright at a time when he hungered. To be profane is to treat that which is holy as if it was common or unclean. How profane of Esau to think that the inheritor of Abraham's blessings could ever starve to death in the wilderness! If Paul had been describing a man desperate to be saved but unable to do so because God held back repentance, he would have never warned us against the same behavior. We are already saved. (I hope that includes you.) The Bible says that Esau cried with a bitter cry, therefore we are warned against that root of bitterness that Esau had.
I have many brethren who on more than one occasion have despised their inheritance in Christ Jesus and punted on second down. Instead of waiting for God to play out his perfect will which often takes great patience; Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?, Psalm 78:19. It is for this reason, and this reason alone that Esau sought repentance. I don't have a theology. I have a King James Bible. I grew up as a Roman Catholic where we wound great fables into Bible passages until something entirely different was meant. Then we sought to justify it by pointing to early church fathers who also believed it. (ie. Spurgeon was Calvinist wasn't he? I must be right.)
Did God hate Esau before his birth as a murderer hates as in definition number one, or did God hate Esau before his birth in the sense that he gave him the diminished blessing? If we look at Esau as a person, does he appear to be without any blessings? And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle, Genesis 36: 6,7.
Esau, as was foretold and fore ordained of God, took second place. By no means do the blessings upon him appear to be the fate of the damned. Esau is in heaven today. We have just torn out a huge plank in the conceit that is Calvinism. If I might put in a last word here to encourage some of you, keep this in mind. For the first 400 years of Esau and Jacob's existence, no outside observer considering the fate of those two men and their progeny would have ever believed that Jacob had been the winner between the two. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD, Psalms 27:14.