>

Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Which Came First: Did Pharaoh Harden His Heart First or Did God Harden Pharaoh's Heart?

NKJ Exodus 4:21  And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.

I was surprised recently to hear a Reformed pastor from the pulpit make the claim that Pharaoh first hardened his heart and then God punished Pharaoh by hardening Pharaoh's heart.  But is this what the Bible text says?  According to the biblical text in Exodus, God prophesied that he would harden Pharaoh's heart and then God brought it about that it happened just as God predicted.  Why?  Because it was the set plan and foreknowledge of God and the hardening of Pharaoh's heart was God's decree long before it happened.  Romans 9 makes this clear:

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." (Romans 9:17 NKJ)

We know what happened to Pharaoh.  He and his army were drowned in the Red Sea.  This was God's purpose all along, according to Romans 9:17.  In fact, God raised up Pharaoh so that he could harden Pharaoh's heart and show a great deliverance of the people of Israel.  Paul answers the objections of the Arminians and the promoters of the free offer and common grace:

Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" 21  Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? (Romans 9:18-21 NKJ)

There was never any contingency in the matter before God.  Men often want to play fast and loose with God's word to appease those who question God's sovereignty.  This is ironic since it is the Arminians who use rationalism to explain away the plain teaching of God's Word.  

It is fairly easy to show that God planned to harden Pharaoh's heart and that God first hardened Pharaoh's heart, not the other way around:

NKJ Exodus 4:21  And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.

NKJ Exodus 7:3  "And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.

 As you can see there are clearly two verses that predict that God will harden Pharaoh's heart prior to any mentioning of Pharaoh hardening his own heart.  The Arminians get this wrong but it is disappointing to see a Reformed pastor repeating the same error.



NKJ Exodus 8:15  But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.
NKJ Exodus 8:32  But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go.
NKJ Exodus 9:12  But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh; and he did not heed them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses.
NKJ Exodus 9:34  And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants.
NKJ Exodus 10:1  Now the LORD said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him,
NKJ Exodus 10:20  But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.
NKJ Exodus 10:27  But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.
NKJ Exodus 11:10  So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.
NKJ Exodus 14:4  "Then I will harden Pharaoh's heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD." And they did so.
NKJ Exodus 14:8  And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness.
NKJ Exodus 14:17  "And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen.

NKJ John 12:40  "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them."

No comments:

Support Reasonable Christian Ministries with your generous donation.