Is God glorified in the hardening of hearts?

Do you know the hope to which the Father of glory has called you?  Do you know the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory?  Read the following brief account and consider whether this ‘fits’ in your current understanding and knowledge of God.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.” And they did so.  Exodus 14: 1-4

This takes place just after the ten plagues that God brought against Pharaoh and the land of Egypt. This takes place as the people of Israel go out from captivity in Egypt and come to the Red Sea. God basically tells Moses to have the people of Israel turn back towards Egypt and camp right there by the sea…why? So that Pharaoh will see them. And what does God say he is going to do? “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.” Doesn’t this sound like God intentionally sets Pharaoh up?

Doesn’t it seem like chumming the water to provoke the great white shark?  Isn’t it like setting a salt lick and sweet grain out in a clearing in the woods to entice the twelve-point buck?  Is it not like setting a trap?  Does this violate something in your understanding of God?  Isn’t God supposed to love the world and save the world?  Is God tempting man here?  Is He tempting Pharaoh?

James, the apostle, tells us no. He writes in James 1:13…Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

So God tempts no one. Then what was happening with Pharaoh and this apparent trap? James tells us more in the following verse…But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Two things are made crystal clear in this account in Exodus 14.  One is that God will get glory.  Two, is that man is responsible for his sin.  A third thing is then also made clear if we were to read on in the account at the Red Sea…Pharaoh and all his host died for their sins. James also said it…’sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.’ Paul in his letter to the Romans says it this way, “For the wages of sin is death…” “…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We either lay our lives down to follow after Jesus Christ the Lord through faith in Him or we live unto ourselves, being lured and enticed by our own desires, with the end being eternal death in hell under the mighty wrath of God.

Consider these Words,

Eph 1: 15-23 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

God will always glorify himself, He will always get the glory…Him alone. Through Christ and through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the cross, He made our salvation possible if we would believe on his name. This is our only Hope. Will you believe and be saved?

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