How God Hardens Hearts

Feb. 4, 2012– “How God Hardens Hearts”–Mema Jeanne
Believe it or not, I just deleted  about 2 pages of trying to explain why
God chose to harden Pharaoh’s heart. So, here I go again, only by the grace of God!!!  He knew before each time of sending Moses to Pharaoh that Pharaoh would not listen to them because his heart was harden. Pharaoh was an evil, ungodly man who kept the Israelites in slavery for 400 years, even having Hebrew baby boys murdered by midwives. He thought of himself as a god and felt that the Israelites should worship him instead of the God they talked about. He didn’t know their God, nor did he have any desire to know Him.
I find myself thinking of the people who have killed their own children, of the people who have molested children, of the people who take part in pornography of children, of the leaders who have taken part in “ethnic cleansing.” Their hearts have to be harden (lacking in sympathetic understanding; unfeeling..). These people are horrible and commit horrible actions. Way on the other side of hardened hearts: How about the people who refuse to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, or the people who play church, or the people who claim to know Jesus but never spend time with Him, or the people who judge, or the people who walk away from their relationship with God? Are their hearts just as hardened in God’s eyes???? Will God deal differently with the various kinds of sins?? Is a sin a sin in His eyes? These questions will be answered by God Himself, not me. I do, however, believe that God has a purpose in everything He allows to take place. He will be glorified, and He is victorious!!!
“Romans 9:17-18 declares, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’ Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden.”
Joel Sutton, in a post, addresses the issue of how God hardens hearts. He writes: “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.” – Rom. 9:18
How does God harden hearts? Does He simply decide which persons are to be hardened and then it happens instantaneously? Perhaps there is a process. And how does He decide whose heart should be hardened? Surely it’s not a capricious, random selection.
I’ve literally found a concrete example of how God hardens hearts. It’s concrete. There are three primary ingredients in concrete: water, sand (perhaps with rocks), and cement. The water represents God’s goodness and grace. That alone does not harden hearts. The sand and rocks represent our sins of ignorant disobedience. We do all kinds of things that don’t align with God’s best. Yet the water of God’s grace, washing over the sediment of sin, doesn’t yet produce hardness. It simply washes away our sins.
The final ingredient is the key. Cement is a combination of elements that creates a binder, something that holds everything together. We have just seen in the previous days that we have three elements that cause problems: lust, greed and pride. [Mema J says, “ I suppose that he is referring to a previous study.” 😉 ] When we don’t listen to God, when we complain about our lot in life, when we prefer the ways of the world, then we’ve got a serious problem. Our hearts begin to harden. This is what happened to Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt (Exodus 7-12). Each time God showed His goodness by removing the effects of a plague, Pharaoh refused to listen to Him.
Take a look around you. God is showering His goodness upon the world, sending “rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45). Some people receive those blessings as mercy. Others take the same goodness and allow it to harden their hearts.
May your heart be pliable today before God, washed through His grace.
Lord, may my heart never be hardened to You or Your plan for my life; may I have the desire to listen to You when You want to guide in my life. Thank You so much for allowing me to dig into this lesson today, even though I’ve “dug” at various times through out the day. Thank You for drawing me to the part of scripture about Pharaoh’s heart being harden. Thank You for leading me to Your Word and to other commentaries to help me understand how and why You choose to harden hearts. Lord, may Your power be displayed in Your handling of hard-hearted people; may Your Name be proclaimed in all the earth as Scripture says. I pray this in Your Name, the Name above all names, Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen!!!!
Mema Jeanne

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4 thoughts on “How God Hardens Hearts

  1. Mema Jeanne,Amen. God gave us free will and it is our choice. Eventually, if we keep disobeying, God let’s us do what we want to do. (See Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.) that’s the closest I see to God giving up on us. If we are willing to submit, God says that “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes… Ezekiel 36:26-27″Today if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.

  2. Mema Jeanne,AMEN! Oh, you will never know how I needed to hear this message today. I just love your analogy with concrete, how great is our God to wash away our sins of disobedience. I pray that each of us will hear His voice and present ourselves to him with a heart that is open and receptive to all that He provides.Happy Sabbath,Mary Ann

  3. I too loved the cement analogy, and will never look at a concrete truck pouring cement the same way. What a great way to get me to think and put it all together! God spoke volumes to you Jeanne!Morgen

  4. Mema Jeanne, thank you! I too have always questioned about the hardening of hearts. I just have never understood it and you have shredded a light in this concept so beautifully. Wow! Thank you! Hope everyone is having a blessed weekend. It went by way too fast! Hugs and love to allBethanySent from my iPhone

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