They place no blame on the individual. Instead of the Flip Wilson “the devil made me to it”, Calvinists say “God made me do it”. When answering why Pharaoh did not obey God, they say God hardened him. But what does the Bible really say?

“Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts?” 1 Sam. 6:6. The Bible says that men harden their hearts because they do not like what God has to say.

Calvinists like to point to the man being hardened, but Samuel records that God hardened the hearts of the Egyptians. The rebellious nation hardens its own heart when it does not love the truth. The same happened to Israel. Pretty much the entire nation turned against the LOGOS of God which resulted in the self-imposed darkness on them that remains to this day.

In Exodus it says God hardened Pharaoh’s heart as many times as Exodus says that “Pharaoh hardened his own heart”, Exodus 8:15,32. What do we make of this? How should we interpret an apparent contradiction? Which is it? Does God harden or does man do the hardening?

The answer must be one that is just both of God and of the man. The judgment of God cannot be just if man has no say in his disobedience.

When the Bible says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, it was by the action and decree of God. God decrees that Pharaoh is to let Israel leave. This decree of God is what hardened Pharaoh. If God decreed something easy for Pharaoh to do, it wouldn’t have caused any hardened. But there is naturally, or is it spiritually, something that happens when God’s will meets man’s will. Man either submits by choice, or man stiffens his neck and resist. This is how Pharaoh hardened his own heart.

And the same thing happens today. The Gospel is fixed and God says there is salvation only through the Gospel of Christ. This truth hardens and softens. If a person is a rebellious spirit, the demand from God to repent and be baptized is met with a proud rejection. God hardens by being an unwavering truth. And the man hardens himself by rejecting God.

Remember that Samuel said Pharaoh hardened his own heart. And Moses said the same in the Exodus account.

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