"Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." Romans 9:13
This is perhaps the most despised verse in the entire Bible!
Contrary to popular religious opinion, God does not love all people.
There are only two kinds of people in this world—Jacobs and Esaus.
These two men represent the entire human race.
Jacob represents God's elect—and Esau represents the reprobate.
Jacob is loved by God—and Esau is hated by God.
God's love is sovereign and free. God's love for Jacob did not depend on Jacob. God loved Jacob, simply because He chose to love Jacob—not because He saw something in Jacob that merited His love. In fact, Jacob proved himself to be completely unworthy of God's love—as do all whom God loves.
God's love depends on God, not Jacob. Jacob can't earn God's love, and Jacob cannot lose God's love—because it does not depend on him. The love of God is completely sovereign and free. God gives and withholds His love as He sees fit.
God's love is discriminating love. Love is always discriminating. By definition, love is never common to all. Jacob was set apart by God's love, and being set apart by God's love—he had God's special favor and the affection of God's heart. God's love is always particular and distinguishing. He does not love all people—He only loves Jacob.
God's love for Jacob and hatred for Esau are according to His eternal purpose, not according to their works. "Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works, but by Him who calls . . . Just as it is written: 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.' What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.' It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy!" Romans 9:11-16
Jacob was elected to salvation before he was born, and Esau was rejected by God before he was born—according to God's eternal purpose.
Because Jacob was loved by God—God sent His Son into this world to redeem him from his sins. Christ died for Jacob—not for Esau! "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."