God’s hardening Pharaoh’s heart (7:3) presents quite a theological conundrum where we see God’s sovereignty and humanity’s responsibility colliding, at least from our perspective. Pondering how God is sovereign and yet we are still responsible for our actions is worthwhile. We want to know God better. We want to know God’s ways better. And these two truths play a significant role in that process.
Imagine if Pharaoh’s heart were not hardened. Perhaps he may have let God’s people go sooner. But God had a greater purpose in Pharaoh’s hardened heart as it resulted in each one of the plagues that followed. Because Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, God was able to strike down for all to see the false gods of Egypt, including Pharaoh himself. God did not just beat one Egyptian god or a couple of deities—He defeated all of them and showed that He, the one true God, has all authority and power. This was the wisdom of God, this was the heart of God, in hardening Pharaoh’s heart—a heart that was hardened on its own too.
Why is it important that you hold God’s sovereignty and your responsibility in balance? Do you tend to lean one way? Why?