Predestination and Calling
EACH of these men represent one aspect of God’s choosing us, His calling us to Himself. Abraham is the great example of divine, sovereign election and predestination. He was not a Jew when God first called out to him. He was not even a Hebrew. He was a pagan from the land of Ur. In the last lesson, Objects of Faith, I presented a verse from Joshua, chapter 24, where the writer tells us that Abraham came from an idolatrous family. Passing by the whole nation of Chaldeans, God goes to one single family, and in that one family He passes by all except one man, Abraham, and says to him: “I will make of you a great nation.” – Genesis 12:2. Such action on the part of God is nothing else but sovereign grace, total and complete unmerited, unearned, favor. There was certainly nothing in Abraham. God did not see a thing in him that made him worthy of being called over many others; but in sovereign, absolute sovereign grace, He chose Abraham, according to His own purpose. Abraham, then, becomes the great example of divine predestination.
Then we come to Isaac. In him we have the second step in the plan of salvation in this passage: “Whom He predestined, these He also called.” – Romans 8:30. Isaac is the great example of effective, divine calling. You will recall how Abraham could not wait for God’s promised son to come, so taking matters into his own hands, he raised up a son of the flesh and called his name Ishmael. Even though Abraham had set his heart upon this son, God said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” – Genesis 21:12. God sets aside the oldest, and takes the youngest. The first becomes last, and the last must be the first. In nature, of course, the reverse is always true. The first is always first with us, and we cannot change it. That is the natural order. One is one, and two comes after one. But in grace God always upsets nature, and turns it up-side-down. God makes the last to become first, and the first to become the last. In grace two always comes before one. So He took Isaac, the second, and said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” Thus to reiterate, “For whom He predestined, these He also called.”
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