In the book of Exodus it is recorded that, “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart”. But it’s important to note that He did only after Pharaoh hardened his own heart. He had ample time to do the right thing, but he was deceitful, broke his word and ended up getting what he deserved.
When someone, such as Pharaoh, maintains their willful disobedience, God does, at times, harden their heart. But after giving a person a lifetime of freedom to choose, He simply says to the offender, “Okay, if you don’t want to do things My way, then I am about to let the effects of “your will to be done.” And with that God withdraws His Spirit, and a man, like Pharaoh, becomes all that any man without God becomes—-heartless, unreasonable, unkind and a tyrant to everyone under his authority. The hardening of the heart is essentially a sort of final judgment of God from those that reject Him.
But God used Pharaoh’s disobedience as an opportunity to display His awesome power—-both to destroy the Egyptians and to shield and protect the Hebrews. He even explained to Moses that this was the reason He hardened Pharaoh’s heart, or removed His Spirit from Pharaoh—to show the Hebrews the power and excellence of God’s hand to protect His beloved and punish those that hurt His beloved.
When God’s hand is removed from a soul, and His Spirit is taken away, it’s frightening to see what happens to that creature—-particularly if that person has power over other people. They cease to have the common elements of human dignity, compassion and empathy—-they become monsters—-perversions of what God created them to be. Think of Pol Pot, Mao, Lenin, Hitler, or the countless other sadistic murders and abusers of mankind throughout history.
There’s a point where God’s Holy Spirit ceases to invite us to receive a new life and become reborn and set apart for Him. God is patient and does not want anyone to be lost. But the Bible has more than a few examples of what happens when God finally says, “Ok, have it your own way.” It’s best to be uninvolved with people to whom God allows their hearts to become hardened!
“Heavenly Father keep our hearts tender and open to your Holy Spirit. Please give us leaders this fall that are not hardened of heart.”