Answers to "Ask Mike"
48. I have question that contradicts free will and all that?
Like many, our questioner confuses God's foreknowledge with what many call predestination. Was Jacob elected to salvation without choice while Esau was condemned, thus "the younger shall serve the older?" Scripture must not contradict Scripture. Therefore, Scripture either teaches than man has no free will or he does. In the case of Esau and Jacob, God knew their choices before their birth. Because he knew their choices, choices that were freely made, God could also determine the consequences of those choices. God knew Esau would freely choose to give up his birthright. God knew that Jacob would remain faithful. Therefore, God could state the results of those choices as fact.
Does God lead an individual? Certainly. But he is a gentleman and refuses to force one to do what he desires. As an individual with free choice, I could choose to reject God's leadership. I could also err in misunderstanding God's leadership. My personal desires could conflict with God's leadership and I could choose, even without realizing it, to resist that leadership because I failed to recognize it.
God wants all of us to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) and he leads through the Word (Romans 10:17). He knows -- in advance -- what your choice will be, but he steps back and allows you the freedom to choose. Without allowing such freedom, he could not be just or loving. It would be the work of a manipulator who arranges things arbitrarily. The God of the Bible is a just and righteous God whose actions are not determined arbitrarily but by his nature.
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