“But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”Exodus 9:16 (ESV)
Theologians and ordinary Christians have often debated about God’s sovereignty and man’s free will. If God is sovereign, does man not have the right or the ability to choose? If man chooses, either to accept or reject God, does God honor his choice? In other words, does God impose His will on an individual so that the person has no choice in the matter?
Pharaoh was a vessel in God’s hand. He thought he was resisting the LORD, and he was, but even his resistance God used for His divine purpose. God raised up Pharaoh and strengthened him in his stubbornness, so that He could demonstrate His power and declare His name in all the earth.
The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord. Like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wishes.Proverbs 21:1 (NKJV)
God is working in all the affairs of man. He can even use an unbelieving leader to accomplish His will. I cannot reconcile God’s sovereignty with man’s freedom to choose, but I believe in both truths, for the Bible teaches them. However, I know that God is love. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). And I know that God is just who will righteously judge every person according to the things he or she has done (Ecclesiastes 12:14). The things I don’t understand or can’t explain I commit to my Lord in childlike trust. And in this I find joy, peace, wisdom and grace.
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