Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries The conclusion: Hardness of the heart and the power and grace of God revealed. Sunday, July 12, 2009 The Lord did not harden Pharaoh’s heart until Pharaoh hardened his own heart in the first five plagues. The hardening of the heart has nothing whatsoever to do with tampering with the volition of Pharaoh or his free will. Pharaoh used his own negative volition, even though, like the Exodus generation of believer’s in the desert he saw more and more of God’s power, and when God would take away the judgment, He saw God’s grace. When the Exodus generation of believer’s passed through the Red Sea, they had already seen the power of God and in the miracles of the 10 plagues as well as the grace of God in removing them to give Pharaoh another chance. God used the hardening of a man’s heart to fulfill His will. 1. That he paid no attention to the demand of Jehovah addressed to him through Moses, and would not let Israel go. It does not say that he did not hear the word of God, but he did not listen or pay attention to it when it was spoken. GAL 6:5, For each one shall bear his own load. MAT 16:24, Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” MAT 16:25-27, “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.” 2. In the beginning of the plagues when the Egyptian magicians imitated the signs performed by Moses and Aaron - Pharaoh hardened his heart even though at the very first sign the rods of the magicians, when turned into serpents, were swallowed by Aaron’s in chapter 7:12-13. 3. This hardening of Pharaoh’s heart was also manifested when the magicians themselves acknowledged, “This is the finger of God” (EXO 8:19). 4. It was also continued after the 4th and 5th plagues, when a distinction was made between the Egyptians and the Israelites, and the Jews were exempted from the plagues. 5. It was exhibited still further in his breaking his promise, that he would let Israel go if Moses and Aaron would obtain from Jehovah the removal of the plague. 6. By the fact, that even after he had been obliged to confess, “I have sinned, Jehovah is the righteous one, I and my people are unrighteous” (EXO 9:27). he continued to reject the word of God Many people will admit that they’ve made mistakes or that they have a void or something is missing in their life, but then they will do nothing about it. Achan admitted that he had sinned only when he got caught JOS 7:20, So Achan answered Joshua and said, “Truly, I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel, and this is what I did.” Saul admitted that he had sinned against the Lord by rejecting God’s word and then went right on doing so, 1SA 15:24, Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.” Wrong reason, never fear the people when you have authority over them, 1SA 15:30, Then he said, “I have sinned; but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and go back with me, that I may worship the Lord your God.” 1SA 26:21, Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again because my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have committed a serious error.” 2SA 12:13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.” MAT 27:3-4, Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” Prin - There’s no virtue in admitting something is true unless you follow through with the appropriate action necessary. 7. This hardening of Pharaoh’s heart was manifested when he sinned again, as soon as breathing-time was given him, and would not let the people go (EXO 9:34-35). He desires that even the wicked should repent of his evil way and live (EZE 33:11); and he desires “all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of truth.” (1TI 2:4,cf. 2PE 3:9). Just as God causes his earthly sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust (MAT 5:45), He causes His grace to shine upon all men, to lead them to life and salvation. However, as the earthly sun produces different effects upon the earth, according to the nature of the soil upon which it shines, so the influence of the divine sun of grace manifests itself in different ways upon the human heart, according to its spiritual condition.