On TheTorah.com an interesting discussion ensues over what is deemed the ethical problem of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart by God. There is no question that Pharaoh’s sin against Israel during the Plagues brought by God through Moses is caused by this hardening. The question is now and always has been when confronting this set of facts — is God really just in holding Pharaoh accountable for God’s decision that he, Pharaoh, is not to release Israel?
So here are the facts needing consideration:
Pharaoh had enslaved Israel. We are told in scripture that this Pharaoh no longer remembered Joseph, and so we understand that his sin, and what turned out to be an ongoing sin against Israel was produced by actions of his own free will — a gift given him and us by God.
We further know that God in His Covenant with Abraham stated that He would bless them who blessed his (Abraham’s) people, and conversely He would curse them who cursed Israel. Pharaoh was already a cursed man due to the sin of his own choosing.
Further, We know that God will give over the sinner eventually to a reprobate mind, and when this happens the sinner no longer has a free will but is a slave to his former free will choices. Paul tells us that this will eventually happen to all men who worship the Antichrist (2 Thess 2).
Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (KJV)
God reserves this right to remove free will when it is wrongly exercised. So it seems as though there is a law of reciprocity — Choose a lifestyle of sin, and eventually you are a slave to that sin. Choose Christ, and you become His bond servant or slave.
So, the question is did God really take away Pharaoh’s free will? The answer of course is yes, but it is not the ethical problem that the Jews of history have argued against for centuries; and the problem that Calvinist readily incorporate into their doctrine, when they lay claim to the Idea that all men are predestined without free will before the foundation of the earth. Were that total truth, then there should be no reason for God to blot a name from the book of life, which was recorded before the foundation of the earth. Yet this is exactly what Jesus says can happen: Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (KJV)
So did God make a mistake by recording a name that should not have been in this book?
At the time of the second resurrection at the Great White Throne Judgment again we hear: Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV)
We are told that everyone who sees the first resurrection will not see the second death. So does that mean that those standing at the Great White Throne are automatically included in the second death? They did not take part in the first resurrection. Apparently not, why else would the book of life be brought out at this Judgment? Men will apparently be saved and other men lost during the millennium. The basis of their salvation is always the acceptance of Israel’s Messiah (Jesus) when they are called by the Holy Spirit. Today is the day of Salvation. Today God is calling men unto Himself through Christ His Son. During the Millennium Jesus will rule with a rod as King. And as it has been throughout the creation and giving of life to mortal men, we will see that they will exercise a free choice concerning God, as they determine to obey or to rebel. And this even in the presence of an all powerful sovereign God.
The Ethical Problem of Hardening Pharaoh’s Heart – TheTorah.com