God's Sovereign Choice

1 1I am speaking the truth in Christ--I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit--
2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.
3 For 2I could wish that I myself were 3accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,a my kinsmen 4according to the flesh.
4 They are 5Israelites, and to them belong 6the adoption, 7the glory, 8the covenants, 9the giving of the law, 10the worship, and 11the promises.
5 To them belong 12the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ 13who is God over all, 14blessed forever. Amen.
6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
7 and not all are children of Abraham 15because they are his offspring, but 16"Through Isaac shall your offspring be named."
8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but 17the children of the promise are counted as offspring.
9 For this is what the promise said: 18"About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son."
10 And not only so, but 19also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,
11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of 20him who calls--
12 she was told, 21"The older will serve the younger."
13 As it is written, 22"Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
14 What shall we say then? 23Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!
15 For he says to Moses, 24"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,b but on God, who has mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 25"For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.