Romans 9:12-22
Rom 9:12 (KJV)
It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

(Gen 25:23 KJV) And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. Continuing the thought from verse eleven on election, Rebecca was told that the elder, which was Esau, would serve the younger brother, who was Jacob. We saw that this was planned by God Himself by divine election.

Rom 9:13 (KJV)
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

There was nothing in Jacob that would cause God to love him above Esau. However, the Bible teaches that the love of God is qualified.
(Psa 5:5 KJV) The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. God places His love upon His Elect while righteously hating the unbelievers since they are at enmity with God. There is no place in the Bible which teaches that God loves the sinner and hates the sin. (Psa 7:11 KJV) God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. God is angry with the wicked every day and He does not bestow His love upon those who are non-elect. On judgment day, God is not going to separate the sin and sinner. Each sinner is going to stand in the judgment for their sins and be cast into eternal Hell. So when we see the verse teaching us that God loved Jacob but hated Esau, it was because Jacob was the Elect of God and Esau was not. I have heard it say that God hated Esau in contrast to the loving of Jacob. However, the words stand in the Greek just as they are translated. The word ďhatedĒ in the Greek carries with it the idea of ďdetest, abhor, or prefer against.Ē The word ďlovedĒ is rooted from the ďagapeĒ love of God which is the love associated with those whom God saved.

Rom 9:14 (KJV)
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

Paul then asks a question based on the last statement in verse 13. Just because God chose Jacob over Esau and loved Jacob over Esau, does that mean that God is unrighteous? The answer of course is God forbid, that can never happen. God has already predetermined who He has chosen and for what purpose as we see in these verses. Just because people refuse to believe that God has the sovereign right to do as He pleases, does not mean that God is unrighteous, rather it means that we refuse to accept Godís methods based upon His purposes.
(Isa 55:8-9 KJV) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. {9} For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Godís thoughts and ways are way above our thoughts and ways and if Christians stop trying to fit God into a mold that we create, then there will be less confusion. Godís salvation plan is by His election and not the mythical free will of man.

Rom 9:15 (KJV)
For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

(Exo 33:19 KJV) And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. Back in Exodus, God already gave us election in the Scriptures. The Romans verse is very plain as it tells us that God will have mercy and compassion on whom He desires. As we read, that the mercy and compassion (love) of God is qualified and He gives them to those He named before the foundation of the world through election.

Rom 9:16 (KJV)
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.

(John 1:12-13 KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: {13} Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. The mercy AKA salvation of God is not given for any type of works that man can do but is given only by God to His Elect. This is the kind of verse that those who hold to the free will of man in salvation despise.

Rom 9:17 (KJV)
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

(Exo 9:15-16 KJV) For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. {16} And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. When God was ready to raise His hand against Egypt for not letting His people go, He specifically named Pharaoh as being raised up for this purpose. Pharaoh was considered a god and Egypt the mightiest nation on Earth at that time. If Pharaoh and Egypt would be defeated, then the conqueror would be feared all over the Earth as the word spread. The name of God was feared among the nations after Egypt was destroyed by the plagues and the death of Pharaoh in the Red Sea. So basically in this verse God is telling us that He can raise up a mighty nation for the purpose of bringing it down according to His mighty power and no one can stay His hand from doing it if that is His will.

Rom 9:18 (KJV)
Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Here God tells us that that He can have mercy on whom He desires and on the other hand, He can harden whomever He desires, such as the case of Pharaoh.
(Exo 4:21 KJV) And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. The mercy of God is in the hands of God.

Rom 9:19 (KJV)
Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

Some may say by misunderstanding the sovereign will of God that who can resist Him or how can He find fault if He is in control of everything? What man fails to understand is that when sin entered the world, everything had changed. Godís will and purposes control the entire Earth. What many fail to understand is that God is sovereign and has control. Man believes that he is in control. The Bible teaches that God controls every aspect of humanity. People ask questions like those above because they fail to recognize the sovereignty of God. When one embraces the sovereignty of God, then questions like the two above would not be asked but since unsaved man is sinful, they do not see God as sovereign but rather they see their actions as independent of God.

Rom 9:20 (KJV)
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Man must realize his created place in that whatever God wills for his life will come to pass. Man may complain about things but Paul is saying here basically, what right do you have to question Godís purposes since you are only a created being. Man tries to exalt himself as more than he is but we are only created beings and subject to Godís will in all things. If Pharaoh, who was the mightiest man on Earth at that time was subjected to Godís purposes, then who do we think we are in questioning or trying to oppose Godís will?

Rom 9:21 (KJV)
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Here Paul brings in the potter who makes pottery out of clay. If the potter makes a pot which comes out perfectly then he would display that one in the front window. If he makes one that is irregular, then that one goes in the back room, either to be broken up and remade or to be sold at a lower price. The potter has absolute authority over the clay. It is interesting to note that clay is just passive and cannot decide what it wants to be, whether honorable or dishonorable. That choice is in the hands of the potter.

Rom 9:22 (KJV)
What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

(Prov 16:4 KJV) The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Here we are told that God made both vessels of wrath. We read in the Proverbs verse that God even made the wicked for the day of evil, which is Judgment day when all the evil deeds of wicked unregenerate man will be brought to light. The longsuffering of God waits until the last day when all the unbelievers will have been born and then those that have died will be raised to the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:29 KJV) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. The sovereignty of God shines through in these passages as God is totally sovereign over both the believers and the unbelievers.