Skip to main content

Romans 9:18: So Then He Has Mercy On Whomever He Wills, And He Hardens Whomever He Wills.

Romans 9:18
[18] So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (ESV)

Moses and Pharaoh. What do they have in common? Have you ever stopped to consider that question? They both had evil hearts. They were both murderers. You may remember that Pharaoh ordered all Jewish babies to be killed. Moses was spared. Moses as a young adult saw one of his fellow Hebrew slaves being beaten by an Egyptian and Moses murdered the Egyptian.

Let that reality sink in for just a moment. We love to paint our biblical heroes with perfect colors. We eliminate the flaws and celebrate how wonderful they were. We forget that all of mankind is born in sin with a propensity to do more sin. Moses was no different. Neither are you. Moses and Pharaoh had a sinful heart in common.

What set Moses and Pharaoh apart? God chose to have mercy on Moses. God hardened Pharaoh. This is a very difficult concept for us to grasp so let's break it down a bit. At first glance it seems that God creates evil in Pharaoh. That would be problematic. James says that God is not the author of evil. The reality is that Pharaoh was evil in his nature. God did not make him evil.

In hardening Pharaoh's heart, God simply withheld any restraints to keep him from freely pursuing the true evil that was in Pharaoh's heart. In other places in Scripture it actually says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. Both points are true. As my father used to say, "God did not harden a heart that wasn't already willing to be hardened."

Give praise to God for his amazing mercy. Without it we would be left completely to our own devices. Our hardened hearts would lead to endless evil. Praise God for his mercy.


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14 [14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV) The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers. Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church. This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to t

Romans 15:22: This Is The Reason Why I Have So Often Been Hindered From Coming To You.

Romans 15:22 [22] This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. (ESV) Paul was quite the traveler. As an Apostle to the Gentiles his task was literally to take the Gospel to the entire known world at the time. Many of the Epistles that Paul writes are letters written to places where he has already been. He preached the Gospel, many were saved, churches were planted, and Paul moved on to a new area. Rome was a place that Paul had never been to. He writes this entire letter to people whom he had never met. As an Apostle to the Gentiles he wanted to give them the good solid teaching they needed to grow in their faith. Likely, someone who was converted on the Day of Pentecost went back to Rome and first shared the Gospel there. Paul says that he has been often hindered from coming to Rome. He could have argued that all kinds of circumstances would not permit him to get to Rome. Paul would not have blamed circumstances. He would have understood that it w