Friday, October 12, 2012

Pharaoh's Freedom to Choose

Romans 9:17
Exodus 9:16-17, 27
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On the face of it, Pharaoh seems like quite the idiot in Exodus 7-15. God clearly proves Himself the dominant master over the Egyptian gods, yet Pharaoh refuses to give in to His demands. Yet God uses this to prove His power even more clearly, to the Israelites and Egyptians of the time, to the later Israelites, and to us today. I have heard of people whom God overwhelmed with mercy so thoroughly that they hardly had a choice but to give Him their all. I suppose each of us has a threshold where we are converted to love of God, but that threshold is very low for some and extremely high for others. For those who decide against God, He usually does not overwhelm them with an experience of Himself to reach that high threshold. To protect our freedom to choose or reject Him, He generally doesn't seem to push the high threshold that many set up before they're willing to admit His existence and His power. Perhaps God could have worked differently in Pharaoh and he would have released the Israelites without so many plagues and without pursuing them afterward. Perhaps Pharaoh would not have loved God but would have "chosen" to submit to Him if God had overwhelmed his high threshold and made it practically impossible to choose otherwise. Yet God chose not to overwhelm him, but to work with the stubbornness in his heart and increase it rather than melt it, so God's glory was shown to be that much greater.

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