Grace Trumps Choice
Thanks Be to God!
He “hardens hearts” – that are already bent against Him (as are all “natural” hearts since the fall in Adam). He did not pervert that which was already perverted by Adam’s rebellion! And neither did He make hard that which was “soft” – and receptive and obedient and holy and righteous! That which was already corrupted did He further harden as one who commends another on the course he has chosen.
So it is well stated and illustrated by Moses as recorded way back in Deuteronomy (1:45-2:37). There it is, plain as day; the reason given for the king’s unwillingness to allow Moses and the sons of Israel to pass through the land was that “the Lord hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate.” We are talking about the king – that Pharaoh – who would not let the people go!
It is God who softens the hearts of persons among wicked humanity – all of which are fallen and corrupt and unresponsive to His Word. Yes, God is dealing with damned humanity, a people well worthy of rejection and punishment. There is not a damned one worth His attention.
Nevertheless, it is God who has mercy upon whom He will have mercy. And it is in this merciful God that we trust and in whom we hope when we think of those little ones who die in the womb or at birth or as infants. Our righteous, holy, good and merciful God may save, according to His sovereign grace, any of those who die without hearing the Gospel.
But what, again, about this “hardening of the heart”? It is thrown bluntly in our faces by Paul in the ninth chapter of Romans. He hardens the (already corrupt) hearts (yet further) as He chooses! (And may He not do with his damned vessels as He pleases?)
It is really not all about human choice when it comes to salvation of men from the damnation which they earn and embrace. It is about His sovereign, unspeakable, fabulous, wonderful grace.
14 Oct., 2020