As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
As God's throne is a throne of holiness, so it is a throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). A throne encircled with a rainbow, "in sight, like an emerald" (Revelation 4:3); an emblem of the covenant, betokening mercy. Though His nature be infinitely excellent above us, and His power infinitely transcendent over us, yet the majesty of His government is tempered with an unspeakable goodness. He acts not so much as an absolute lord as a gracious sovereign and obliging benefactor. He delights not to make His subjects slaves; exacts not of them any servile or fearful, but a generous and cheerful obedience. He requires them not to fear or worship Him so much for His power as His goodness. He requires not of a rational creature anything repugnant to the honour, dignity, and principles of such a nature; nor anything that may make it weary of its own being, or of the service it owes its sovereign. He draws it by the cords of a man; His goodness renders His laws as sweet as honey and the honeycomb to an unvitiated palate and a renewed mind. And though it be granted He hath full disposal of His creature as the potter of His vessel, yet His goodness will never permit Him to use this sovereign right to the hurt of a creature that deserves it not. As not to punish the sinner would be a denial of His justice, so to torment the innocent would be a denial of His goodness. It is as much against the nature of God to punish one eternally who hath not deserved it as it is to deny Himself and act anything foolishly, and unbecoming His other perfections which render Him majestical and adorable.
(S. Charnock, B.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.