PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: Exodus 7-8
What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?
“I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and… he will not listen to you.” (Exodus 7:3)
Did Pharaoh want to relent, but God hardened his heart?
Did poor Pharaoh have no choice, was he a pawn in God’s plan?
It certainly sounds like it, and Paul seems to say the same (Romans 9:16-21).
And yet we also see how God gives over our hearts to our own desires (Romans 1:24,26,28).
As I see it, God doesn’t make Pharaoh stubborn, God lets him be what he already is.
Instead of softening his heart to open it, God allows it to do what it wants to do.
Pharaoh is not a puppet nor a victim; he is a free agent who chooses to be stubborn.
God graciously uses his freedom, and directs it for a greater purpose.
Jesus was crucified by human stubbornness, and God used it to set humanity free.
Jesus is now at work in my life, giving me all kinds of signs to see his goodness.
He is calling me, but he is not forcing me; and he is using me, even my stubbornness.
Where am I resisting him, stubbornly holding back or on to something that is hurting me?
Surrender to Jesus and God is the path to freedom and blessing.
I want to be softened by his grace, not hardened by my stubbornness.
Lord, I accept responsibility for life. But thank you that you use my life to give me opportunities to see, and to respond better. Help me not to harden my heart to your grace!