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Romans 9:18 – God hardens who he wants

15-07-2021 - Posted by Hans

Consequently, then, to whom He will, He is merciful, yet whom He will, He is hardening.

The conclusion (“consequently then…”) of this argument is the absolute freedom of GOD to use his creatures for his purpose. GOD took pity on a Moses and his people but He hardened a Pharaoh when he finally wanted to give in to God’s call to let the people go. GOD does not account for this to His own creations, nor does He need to, as Paul will argue later (9:20).

God hardened not only the heart of Pharaoh, but of all his people. In Psalm 105:25 we read about the Egyptians: “He turned their hearts to hate His people…”. Are you reading it right? God Himself made the Egyptians anti-Semitic in their hearts. God created a dark backdrop of resistance so that the Egyptians could act as a “display” of GOD’s conquering power. By their rejection, God’s name would be proclaimed all over the earth. This already clearly shows what Paul later explicitly argues: the current Jewish ‘no’ to the Gospel paves the way for the proclamation of God’s name among the nations. The unbelief directed by God himself is to glorify his name!