Many times God says that he hardened Pharaoh's heart that he wouldn't let the children of Israel go free. Why would God harden his heart and does he harden the heart of other people?
The Bible does say that God would harden Pharaoh's heart more than one time. Those of us reading through the Bible together are in that part of Exodus right now where the plagues are being poured out. One example I read last night was in Exodus 7:13,14
And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.
In our reading today, from Exodus 9:16, God goes on to say to Pharaoh...
And in very deed for this cause I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
After Pharaoh lets the children of Israel go, in Exodus 14:4, God says...
And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And so they did.
Then, in Exodus 14:8, it says...
And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.
In the New Testament, in Romans 9:16-18,
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
So we have the reason why God hardened Pharaoh's heart given, and it seems from what it says in Romans, we have the answer to the other question as well, whether or not God hardens other people's hearts? Apparently, He does.
I wondered about that too.... I know if you resist the Lord long enough he will give you over to a reprobate mind. Is that the same as hardening their heart?
It would seem that it was God's plan to harden Pharaoh's heart to show His power. That is different from being given over to a reprobate mind. That is something that happens when God keeps bringing conviction and a person keeps resisting.
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