For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 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 him who calls— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “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.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
This text in my opinion is probably the grandest in regards to the doctrine of election. It is so shocking to know that God's saving love is determined in the womb of a mother before the child is even born into this earth. It is shocking to know that God shows mercy (saving mercy) to whomever he wants, and the rest, he hardens their heart so that they will never believe upon Jesus. It is shocking to know that from the same God comes love for one person and hate for another. It is shocking to know that God raised up Pharaoh, performed all of his torturous plagues, and ultimately destroyed his son and sent this man to a grave of water; all done so that God's power might be displayed throughout his creation. It is the kind of text where you just lay your hand over your mouth, sit in silence, and mutter under your breath, okay, that's the way that it is.
If you are sitting on my couch listening to this devotion, or are reading this from a far; if you are reading this as a blood-bought sinner who has been rescued from the domain of darkness and has been transferring into the kingdom of light; you have an amazing God who has chosen you special so that he might shower his amazing love and gifts upon you. He chose you, not because of anything special in you, but because of everything special in God. You have been chosen! He has mercy on whomever he wills to have mercy on. Is that you? Or have you been hardened?