I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
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.
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
The New Testament writers are clear as crystal on this: God is not partial, nor should we be. It seems Peter may have thought that Jehovah was partial toward the Jews, but having been instructed through the illustration of the tarpaulin full of all sorts of animals, he told the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34)AMP VERSION. Peter also tells the Christians to expect fair and even treatment when the Father “without partiality judges according to each one’s work” (1 Pet 1:17)AMP VERSION.
Partiality is “a bias in favor of one thing or person compared with another.”
Paul agrees with Peter regarding God’s offer of mercy to both Jews and Gentiles, as quoted in Romans 2:11 AMP VERSION: “For there is no partiality with God.” He also warns masters to treat their servants even-handedly, “knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” (Eph 6:9)AMP VERSION. And he warns Timothy, and through him all local church elders: “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality” (1 Tim 5:20-21) AMP VERSION.
A significant pattern repeated throughout Scripture is seen in the way God bypasses the one born first, who had a right by law, and selects those whose only claim must be the grace of God. Whether Cain and Abel, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Reuben and Judah, or David over his brothers, it seems the one born first was never the firstborn. When old Jacob crossed his arms to bless Ephraim and Manasseh, he was following the pattern that God’s grace had taught him.
If the one born first was chosen, or if the rich and eloquent and mighty were selected, they alone would be able to claim the prize. But if “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Cor 1:27), all a man has to do is discover how weak and foolish he is to qualify!