Pristine Grace

He Mercy on Whom He Will Have Mercy
And Whom He Will He Hardeneth
by Nicholas Wade
He Mercy on Whom He Will Have Mercy

The LORD said to Moses, When you go to Egypt, do all the wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. - Exodus 4:21

You shall speak all I command you and Aaron your brother shall speak unto b Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not listen to you, that I may lay My hand upon Egypt and bring forth my armies and my people Israel out of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I AM the LORD, when I stretch forth My hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. - Exodus 7:2-5

And The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh and he listened not unto them as the Lord spoke unto Moses. The Lord said to Moses, Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, saying to him, Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let My people go, that they might serve me. Because I will at this time send all my plagues upon your heart and upon your servants, and upon your people; that you might know there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out My hand to smite you and your people with pestilence and cut you off from the earth. And in truth it is for this purpose that I raised you up, to show in you My power; and that My name may be declared throughout all the earth. - Exodus 9:12-16

And The LORD said to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh: because I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I might show My signs before him: and that you would tell to your son and your son's son, what things I have worked in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them; that you would know how that I AM the LORD. And Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh saying to him, Thus says The LORD God of the Hebrews, how long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let My people go, that they may serve me. - Exodus 10:1-3

    The LORD God has spoken to us. He has revealed Himself to us His elect about Himself. Just from this moment in history, central to the false religion of the Jews, God demonstrates things to wondrous for man. Those taught of God hear Him: He willed that Pharaoh's heart be hardened so that* Pharaoh would not let the people go. It was the Lord's will that Pharaoh would disobey, to sin against His command, that God might make Himself known to both the Egyptians and the children of Israel. To the one as vessels for wrath, He hardened their heart to hate His people (psalms 105:25) so He would send His plagues upon them. To the other, as vessels of mercy, that they might know God alone is God and He will mercy whom He will and harden whom He will (Romans 9:18).

    Hear this, God did not let Pharaoh loose, and let sinners do what sinners do without His restraint. No. Scripture says God had a purpose in creating Pharaoh, as with all the wicked (proverbs 16:4), and raising them up to where they are in life. Every man's lot in life is from God. Furthermore, God caused Pharaoh to have a hardened heart. Whatever a man thinks* in his heart so he is (proverbs 23:7). All men's hearts are in God's hands to turn wherever He wills (proverbs 21:4) and the Lord hardened that man's heart to sin against Him. Why? To destroy him and Egypt and make His power known. What power is He making known but the power of God to have mercy whom He wills and to harden whom He wills.

    This event in history is marked the beginning of the old covenant people, the beginnings of the passovers, the holy days and new moons. It was the time of God's redemption of His chosen people from bondage. Where God began to manifest His name throughout the earth in this event. And beloved hear this: it was only a shadow of what God did when He came to walk among us in the flesh. It was a pale comparison of the glorious light of His Light that shined the name of God. Jesus delivered the elect of God from the bondage of sin. And from Satan who through sin had power of death over the elect. Was our Exodus from darkness in sin and death to the light of the liberty of our justification any less wondrous? No. God hardened the hearts of the Jews and Gentiles. God according to His eternal council, delivered His Son over to the hands of evil men to be crucified (acts 2:23). God no less hardened their hearts to hate Christ and shout "crucify Him" than God did in hardening Pharaoh to not let the people go.

    All sin and evil and all according to God's good will to the salvation of His elect and redemption of sinners. God created reprobates to demonstrate His hatred of injustice, maliciousness, envy, lust, murder, and the self righteous religiosity of man who thinks he can justify himself before God and be accepted for himself. When we are just dust, clay in the potter's hands. Apart from doing any good thing or evil thing God made one vessel to have mercy on and the other vessel to destroy. Man then is without cause in himself to determine his destiny. Either you are made for God's love or made for wrath and nobody has anything to decide which. And Man is made a sinner by the will of God for God's purposes. Man then believes why then does He blame me if i only do what He wills? Why did God make me like this? A hard hearted rebel? God can do as He pleases. And He was pleased to make both to reveal that He was just and righteous and merciful and gracious. Would we truly know the God as He revealed Himself had sin and evil never been?

    Consider Isaiah 6 and Matthew 13 with John 6. The wonder of God's power. On the one hand the gospel of God's salvation in the election of grace is so simple that God, who did actively choose many to perish, had to blind men's understanding. So they would not see nor hear so as to not believe the gospel and be saved. Here it would seem God, as exodus indicated, gave a hardened (or sinful unbelieving) heart to the reprobate. Lamentations 3:65 says it as well, Give them hardness of heart and your curse be upon them. Yet, on the other hand, man will not and can not believe unless God gives them a will and a heart to believe (Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 36). God is over both! Man is clay to be made in to whatever God wills and man dead in sin that he can't do or will but what God moves him to do. Isaiah 10 God correlated that mighty Assyria to God's rod of anger to beat the nations. An axe wielded in His hand to cut the root as it were. God even says of that boastful axe vs 15, "Shall the axe boast itself against Him that uses it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against Him that shakes it? As if the rod should move itself against them that lift it up or the staff should lift itself up, as if it were not wood." He even sends strong delusions and lying spirits on people that they might believe a lie (2 Thessalonians 2:11, 2 Chronicles 18:18-22). He put in their way that stone of stumbling, that they might stumble and be destroyed. What can we argue with our maker? It is God who wounds and heals, who kills and makes alive.

    God is who moves men and turns their hearts/minds/wills as He pleases. Not men themselves apart from His doing it. He is the Lord who does these things so that you, His elect, would know Him as God and love Him as worthy of all glory. To Cyrus, that king of cruel Assyria, a century or more before His day God named him. He declared that He held Cyrus' hand and made Him king with power and wisdom in treasures of darkness to show Cyrus that the LORD was God. The Assyrians had Zoroastrian beliefs; dualistic ideas in their polytheistic religion. Good gods and evil gods working in a struggle through the physical world. Here God, just as in Exodus and elsewhere, had revealed the truth of His power, His name, for all time: "I AM the LORD and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded you though you did not know me: That they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west, there is none beside me. I AM The LORD and there is none else. I Form the light and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

    See it elect of God and believe it. He is not saying calamity as men would say to soften the truth. God didn't speak so that it wouldn't benefit your knowledge of Him! He creates good and creates evil. As Genesis 6:5 says the thoughts of the man's heart were evil* continually. Proverbs 16:1 says our thoughts are from God and as we see elsewhere He turns the heart as He pleases. He mercies whom He will and hardened whom He will. Now read vs. 8 and hear the thunder of God's grace roar, "Drop down, you heavens from above, and let righteousness rain down: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it." Oh the depth of the wisdom of God. Election is of grace and by it you know His mercy. Reprobation is of His hatred for wrath so by it you would know His severity and righteousness. The Lord God and savior Jesus determined the sins of the elect that He might die in your stead to forgive you that debt and love in truth, while ordaining the details of the wickedness of the world to bring about His redemption for you.

    It is as Isaiah says in 43:3 "For I AM the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior: I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Sheba for you." And as the chosen vessel to the gentiles says in Romans 9:22-23 "What if God willing to show His wrath and make His power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath made for destruction: that He might make known the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy, which He had made for unto glory"  Is it clear? What shame must we then bear? God is righteous, He hardens the wicked to sin that He might destroy them, He established righteousness for the elect and causes them to believe, He works good and evil for the revealing of His justice and mercy so that we the chosen in Christ from eternity would know the true God. That is eternal life. Praise Jesus, our just God and saviour.