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QOTW Question: "Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?"

Discussion in 'Bible Study Q & A' started by GlennO, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. GlennO

    GlennO Well-Known Member

    Question: "Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?"

    Answer: Exodus 7:3-4 says, “But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my people the Israelites.” It seems unjust for God to harden Pharaoh’s heart and then to punish Pharaoh and Egypt for what Pharaoh decided when his heart was hardened. Why would God harden Pharaoh’s heart just so He could judge Egypt more severely with additional plagues?

    First, Pharaoh was not an innocent or godly man. He was a brutal dictator overseeing the terrible abuse and oppression of the Israelites, who likely numbered over 1.5 million people at that time. The Egyptian pharaohs had enslaved the Israelites for 400 years. A previous pharaoh—possibly even the pharaoh in question—ordered that male Israelite babies be killed at birth (Exodus 1:16). The pharaoh God hardened was an evil man, and the nation he ruled agreed with, or at least did not oppose, his evil actions.

    Second, before the first few plagues, Pharaoh hardened his own heart against letting the Israelites go. “Pharaoh's heart became hard” (Exodus 7:13, 22; 8:19). “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:15). “But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:32). Pharaoh could have spared Egypt of all the plagues if he had not hardened his own heart. God was giving Pharaoh increasingly severe warnings of the judgment that was to come. Pharaoh chose to bring judgment on himself and on his nation by hardening his own heart against God’s commands.

    As a result of Pharaoh’s hard-heartedness, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart even further, allowing for the last few plagues (Exodus 9:12; 10:20, 27). Pharaoh and Egypt had brought these judgments on themselves with 400 years of slavery and mass murder. Since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and Pharaoh and Egypt had horribly sinned against God, it would have been just if God had completely annihilated Egypt. Therefore, God’s hardening Pharaoh’s heart was not unjust, and His bringing additional plagues against Egypt was not unjust. The plagues, as terrible as they were, actually demonstrate God’s mercy in not completely destroying Egypt, which would have been a perfectly just penalty.

    Romans 9:17-18 declares, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’ Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden.” From a human perspective, it seems wrong for God to harden a person and then punish the person He has hardened. Biblically speaking, however, we have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23), and the just penalty for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). Therefore, God’s hardening and punishing a person is not unjust; it is actually merciful in comparison to what the person deserves.

    Recommended Resource: Bible Answers for Almost All Your Questions by Elmer L. Towns.

    GotQuestions.org
     
  2. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Well-Known Member

    :thumbup
     
  3. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Super Moderator Staff Member

    If we harden our hearts, God gives us over to those hard hearts.

    When I lived in disobedience to the Lord, I used to pray "Lord, please do not allow me to harden my heart so I can no longer feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit!" The day a man can no longer hear God's call or feel His drawing is the day that he is beyond hope. That thought used to terrify me. And I would pray that prayer with bitter tears.
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

    If I may:

    "For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them." (Romans 1:21- 32, NASB, emphasis mine)
     
  5. Elijah's Mantle

    Elijah's Mantle Well-Known Member

    one of the great commands Jesus gave was to Love the Lord God with all the heart mind and soul :((
    were to keep our hearts as open as a shrine to God and :pray: always that our hearts never harden
    God does use his word and also prayer :pray: and suffering to accomplish his work
    Ive also had the same terrifying feelings at times :fear in first coming to Jesus Christ and then having
    to battle the old sin nature and finally come to conclude that Christ alone through the Holy Spirit
    does do all the work and depending on my own ability was futile . Millions of born again Christians
    become very perplexed with what they dont understand fully about the sin nature and what to do about it but as you know we should :pray: continually we never have hardening of the heart
    I knew a man it did happen to he gave a lot of testimonies about it ,God did restore and still use him
    but he took nine bullets and lived before he really understood :shocked

    we can see in how God dealt with Pharaoh his severity toward the ruthless dictators over his children
    pharaohs had enslaved the Israelites for 400 years and when there cry reached God's ear Pharaoh was in big grandios-O trouble :(( we know how God see's his own being abused mistreated and dealt with wrongly .God is a expert however at delivering his own , he did it for me :((
    I imagine even today leaders who deal trecherously with God's children will wind up like Pharaoh did :shocked
     
  6. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Super Moderator Staff Member

    Bro, Romans 1 was foremost in my mind as I wrote what I did above, and—back in the day—when I feared being lost forever due to my own willfulness. God will not be mocked! I thank Him without measure for His inconceivably great grace and mercy!!!
     

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