Friday, January 20, 2012

Who Hardens People’s Hearts?

 A. In Exodus 7: 13; 9:12; 10:1, 20; Rom 9:18,  it says God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.
B. In Exodus 8:15 it says Pharaoh hardened his own heart.
C. In Exodus 7:22. The Magicians (people/Satan) hardened Pharaoh’s heart.

Acts 5:3 say “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?” Satan tried for Jesus to worship him, but he failed (Mt 4: 10). He entered Judas and controlled Judas (Lk 22:3; Jn 13:3,27).

The root in filled /Pleraoo/ is a complete synonym to the word hardened /chazaq/ as both can mean to encourage, to take to the end, to sustain. Thus, both God and Satan can be the occasion for someone's heart to be hardened. However, this will make the bible contradictory as there will be no logic for God to harden someone’s heart and then judge them. So let me give you the explanation.

Despite Moses commanding hail (grains of ice falling from the clouds) by stretching his hand, bringing locusts and darkness over Egypt, dividing the red Sea, all these failed to convince Pharaoh that God was stronger.  Instead, he asked “who is the lord God of the Hebrews that I should obey him?’’ It is said in the bible that God hardened his heart.

I will divide these verses into two groups: passive and active voices. In Exodus 7: 13, the word hardened is used in passive voice. The hardened is in active voice. Thus  /kabe/  means heavy, pejorative sense means severe, difficult, stupid.

In Exodus 8: 15; 10: 1, “hardened” /kabad/ or /kabed/,means to burden, dull.

In Exodus 10:20; 7:22; 9:12 the word “hardened” means /chazag/ which is equivalent to fastened upon  or to courageously catch, cleave, or confirm.

While in Rom. 9: 18 and Acts 19: 4 the word “hardened” means /skleruho/ meaning to return, to give up, go back, to render stubborn.

From the above verses, we see that God doesn’t harden people’s hearts to judge them later. Instead, God’s message is simply the occasion for the individual to harden his/her heart. When Pharaoh or the individual has been refusing to obey, God now lets him/her in that condition. Each time he/she hears that it is from God, he/she turns off the earphones of his/her cassette? Same with the gospel;when preached to people, it is the condition of their hardening of hearts not God who hardens their hearts. Therefore, human beings harden their own hearts (Ps. 95:8; Heb 4:7).

Until then, do not harden your hear to the things of God.
St Arrey of Ntenako

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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