God's chosen & the Hardening of Pharaoh's Heart

Exodus 7 is the account where God hardens the heart of Pharaoh. This is often seen as God overriding the free will of man, and yet, if we look closer… perhaps we will see that this is not the case. In the Egyptian culture, gods among men were not out of the ordinary (in their perception). Pharaoh, though, was considered THE god of the people and this was his pride. Then, in walks Moses with his prophet Aaron doing these wonderous signs… surely Pharaoh saw this as a threat to his god-like status over the people. Suddenly, about all he had going for him was his word to say “yes” or “no” to the people being set free to serve THEIR God. It was the thought of God being with His People that hardened Pharaoh’s heart. After all, they no longer would “serve” Pharaoh as he liked. So, when God said that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart, He did not mean He would override His free-will, but rather that the ONE True God was claiming this People as His own and so, the jealousy would cause Him to say no (his last bit of say so in the matter).

So, my question is, what is it that is gathered in this light upon reading Isaiah 41? What does it do to your heart when you hear that it is still the Jewish who ARE the Chosen of God (after all, God promised not to change in Malachi 3:6)? What thoughts come to your mind… are they pleasant, good will thoughts to know that the Church is not Chosen, but rather it is still this beautiful People?

If you think that the Church is the Chosen, what is your cause and who is it that really chose you? Was it REALLY God or was it perhaps you who chose yourself? Could it be that a god in the image of man was formed for the same purpose that the Egyptians formed their god-men… that is to say, to elevate their own selves in their own eyes? If you say that you are chosen of God, what exactly does that mean to you? There is a purpose to being Chosen of God and the reason shines through clearly in the account of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart. :blush:

A very thought provoking thread. I would like to respond to some of the questions you raise.

I am glad you did. Thank you. :slight_smile:

I beleive you hit the nail on the head with this appraisal. It was the signs and wonders that Moses performed and that showed that the God that Moses served was so much greater than him or any of his gods of wood or stone. This is what tweeked pharoah’s pride and hardened his heart. And God being an all knowing God, knew this was going to happenand so we get Exodus7:3And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.

I went through this and as I was trying to figure out another matter, this occurrence was brought to mind and I could understand that Pharaoh’s freewill was not overridden, but rather it was the jealousy and the pride that was surfacing because of what he was being faced with. I have gone been brought through this myself, but I found it a great blessing and an exciting experience. It shows me that the Creator is still in the process of creating us.

The Jews were indeed Gods chosen people.

You will have to forgive my stubbornness on this, but I do not subscribe to Paul AT ALL. He is the only one who seems to have arrived to the conclusion that God has replaced with the Jews with the Gentiles. I know that God loves the Gentiles, but the Jewish are the People that He has Chosen for His creative purposes and other than Paul saying so, nowhere in the Bible has God changed this. Jesus does not REPLACE the Jewish People (he was part OF the Chosen) and Paul certainly did not have the authority of anyone other than himself to claim that the Gentiles or the church would replace them.

I’m not quite sure what you are getting at here. It sounds as though you are saying that anyone who says they are called of God is guilty of the sin of pride and worships himself.

No, I do not mean to sound this way at all. I am just curious the view points that others are holding to in light of what I said in the OP is all. There is a reason to be a Chosen of God and I am curious as to what those claiming to have replaced the Jews think that reasoning is. If they are the Chosen, then they should know the reasoning behind being one of the Chosen. Whether they are or not… well, that is not my MAIN interest for discussion here.

You can absolutely kow that you are called of God, that you are one of God’s chosen people if you beleive in Jesus Christ. John6:39And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
And of coarse Jn3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Hosea 11:1 and Exodus 4:22,23 All who honestly believe that they are being called to be a part of the Chosen though should know what the Tanakh says… and that is to join themselves to the Covenant as it is stated in Isaiah 56. The Chosen of God has not changed and anyone called by God to be a part of that must join themselves to the Jewish… that is the Son of God.

simplynoone;5064081]Exodus 7 is the account where God hardens the heart of Pharaoh. This is often seen as God overriding the free will of man, and yet, if we look closer… perhaps we will see that this is not the case. In the Egyptian culture, gods among men were not out of the ordinary (in their perception). Pharaoh, though, was considered THE god of the people and this was his pride. Then, in walks Moses with his prophet Aaron doing these wonderous signs… surely Pharaoh saw this as a threat to his god-like status over the people. Suddenly, about all he had going for him was his word to say “yes” or “no” to the people being set free to serve THEIR God. It was the thought of God being with His People that hardened Pharaoh’s heart. After all, they no longer would “serve” Pharaoh as he liked. So, when God said that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart, He did not mean He would override His free-will, but rather that the ONE True God was claiming this People as His own and so, the jealousy would cause Him to say no (his last bit of say so in the matter).
It is not somuch as pharo lost his free will. Pharo did not like being shown up. So he held out till the end upon loosing his son and had his will broken. You had a accurate assemsment.

[quote]So, my question is, what is it that is gathered in this light upon reading Isaiah 41? What does it do to your heart when you hear that it is still the Jewish who ARE the Chosen of God (after all, God promised not to change in Malachi 3:6)? What thoughts come to your mind… are they pleasant, good will thoughts to know that the Church is not Chosen, but rather it is still this beautiful People?

The Church is the chosen not the specific people. This vers is in reference of the coming messenger the messiah. Start at the begining of chapter three.

If you think that the Church is the Chosen, what is your cause and who is it that really chose you? Was it REALLY God or was it perhaps you who chose yourself? Could it be that a god in the image of man was formed for the same purpose that the Egyptians formed their god-men… that is to say, to elevate their own selves in their own eyes? If you say that you are chosen of God, what exactly does that mean to you? There is a purpose to being Chosen of God and the reason shines through clearly in the account of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart.

:blush:
[/quote]

God incarnate in Jesus Christ. Jesus instituted the Church. The Jews were the chosen people up till they rejected his teachings and had him crucified. Lets also remember who we all look to as a father in the old testiment father Abraham was not a jew but a pagan as Abram till God calls him and cuts the covenant.

I am trying to figure something out here and perhaps this path could help me to understand.

What do you think this covenant with the Jews was for (meaning the purpose of it) and how was it rejected by them?

And again, I know the belief here is that the church is the chosen… to be chosen, there must be something you are being chosen for. What is the Church chosen for?

The covenant with the Jews? This in my opinion is a little tought to nail down. The covenant was cut with Abram to start a nation. This covenant was cut with Abram in Gen. 15. This is also reflected in Hebrews 11:8-10. This nation brings fourth the Messiah. Which the scribes, pharisees, and sadjusees rejected as the Messiah and the corner stone of Christianity. It was the pharisees and sadjusees that condemed Jesus to death and fulfilled the prophecy fortold in the OT.

The Church was chosen for none other than spreading the Gospel of Christ. Christ gave all Salvation as a free gift through his death and resurection on the cross.

I don’t know if I am helping you at all. Are we going in the correct direction?

Which prophecy would that be?

The Church was chosen for none other than spreading the Gospel of Christ. Christ gave all Salvation as a free gift through his death and resurection on the cross.

If it is a free gift, why all the conditions on it? It would only be free if there were NO conditions upon it, correct? Even just having to place faith on something that we can not prove definitively is not technically free. :blush:

Are we going in the correct direction?

Your question reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite stories!

Alice: Oh, no, no. I was just wondering if you could help me find my way.
Cheshire Cat: Well that depends on where you want to get to.
Alice: Oh, it really doesn’t matter, as long as…
Cheshire Cat: Then it really doesn’t matter which way you go.

So long as we are communicating, any road is good, yes? :thumbsup:

I do have a question though: Is there anything to be inferred from my OP about what God had in mind for the world by making Israel His Chosen People besides bringing forth His Son (because as we can see in Exo 4:22,23, He already considered Israel His son… THIS, the People, is who He was bringing forth from Egypt to serve Him and THEY were considered His Son, His firstborn… Hosea 11:1)?

After, all, I must admit that if His only goal was to put them through all of this only to bring forth a son in which He would allow to be sacrificed in a barbaric manner for mankind (and it is only effective IF they have faith on Him, in fact)… well, this sounds more like a tyrant than a loving Creator. :frowning:

simplynoone;5067144]Which prophecy would that be?

Hebrews 11:8-10 is not a prophecy it is talking of the faith that it took of Abraham to have.

If it is a free gift, why all the conditions on it? It would only be free if there were NO conditions upon it, correct? Even just having to place faith on something that we can not prove definitively is not technically free. :blush:

Even if a gift is free if you can still reject it and there fore end up with no gift at all.

Your question reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite stories!

Alice: Oh, no, no. I was just wondering if you could help me find my way.
Cheshire Cat: Well that depends on where you want to get to.
Alice: Oh, it really doesn’t matter, as long as…
Cheshire Cat: Then it really doesn’t matter which way you go.
Love Alice in Wonder Land

[quote]So long as we are communicating, any road is good, yes? :thumbsup:

:thumbsup:

I do have a question though: Is there anything to be inferred from my OP about what God had in mind for the world by making Israel His Chosen People besides bringing forth His Son (because as we can see in Exo 4:22,23, He already considered Israel His son… THIS, the People, is who He was bringing forth from Egypt to serve Him and THEY were considered His Son, His firstborn… Hosea 11:1)?

Yes Israel is refered to has his first born. I do not see the modern day state in the same light as the OT is refering to. Other than that what is the point?

After, all, I must admit that if His only goal was to put them through all of this only to bring forth a son in which He would allow to be sacrificed in a barbaric manner for mankind (and it is only effective IF they have faith on Him, in fact)… well, this sounds more like a tyrant than a loving Creator. :frowning:

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GOD is not always kind. The sacrafice was nec. to atone for the sins of the world. What more Love could be shown than the willing sacrafice of ones own son. Look at the faith of Abraham in Gen 22 when he was instructed to sacrifice his own son. Does that initialy sound like a very compassonate God? I do not think it does. Yes the whole story God stopes him and provides a ram after Abraham passes the test. A complete demonstration of faith.

OMG! Yes!! yes!! I think that was a GORGEOUS show of God’s love for mankind. I see that as a CLEAR show that He was separating Himself in the minds of man from the false gods they were sacrificing their children to!

Look… Abraham did not hesitate. If you were asked to sacrifice your child, would you say “okay!”? HECK no! not me. I would have to take the punishment before I would agree to sacrifice one of my babies! Abraham agreed because it was the mindset of the people then. God was saying, “HEY! ABRAHAM! I AM THE CREATOR OF LIFE AND WILL NEVER ACCEPT THE SACRIFICE OF A HUMAN! Here is a Ram though for your willingness to be obedient… .carry on.”

At least, that is how I clearly see it. :blush:

:confused: serious or being facicous (sp?)

110% serious! I struggled with this whole story in two ways.

  1. How in the HECK could the Creator of Life call for a sacrifice of a man’s child… not just an only child, but a child that was considered a miracle!

  2. How could His sending a ram be a show that He would later condone the sacrifice of another man?

Have been contemplating this one since a very young age. Only a few short months ago (after at LEAST 25 years of thinking on it), it finally hit me. This WAS their mind set at the time and we know this historically… and we also can see it in the fact that Abraham did not even question. Come on! He did not know FOR SURE that a ram would be sent their way… that was rather hopeful thinking (we know this because Abraham ACTUALLY expected a lamb to be sent… not a ram)… and yes, it paid off.

It also hit me that this is why Sarah and Abraham were given their miracle child SO late in life… to make it a meaningful lesson for us. God would not accept a human sacrifice to atone for sins. In fact, animal blood sacrifices were only called for in the case of sins done in ignorance. Sins NOT done in ignorance called for something quite different. And it was not the blood that atoned the sins, else God would not have made allowances for those who were poor to atone for the sins of ignorance through the offerings of flour.

HE WAS WEENING mankind. Well, in any case… this understanding is consistent with the foundation. Blood sacrifices for atonement were made because of man’s guilt… man is learning… we are not gods, ya know.

simplynoone;5067237]
110% serious!
Glad it helped.

[quote]I struggled with this whole story in two ways.

  1. How in the HECK could the Creator of Life call for a sacrifice of a man’s child… not just an only child, but a child that was considered a miracle!
  1. How could His sending a ram be a show that He would later condone the sacrifice of another man?

Have been contemplating this one since a very young age. Only a few short months ago (after at LEAST 25 years of thinking on it), it finally hit me. This WAS their mind set at the time and we know this historically… and we also can see it in the fact that Abraham did not even question. Come on! He did not know FOR SURE that a ram would be sent their way… that was rather hopeful thinking (we know this because Abraham ACTUALLY expected a lamb to be sent… not a ram)… and yes, it paid off.

Somthing I do want to point out is Abraham expected nothing. Abraham expected to sloghter his own son and was about to when God staid his hand.

It also hit me that this is why Sarah and Abraham were given their miracle child SO late in life… to make it a meaningful lesson for us. God would not accept a human sacrifice to atone for sins. In fact, animal blood sacrifices were only called for in the case of sins done in ignorance. Sins NOT done in ignorance called for something quite different. And it was not the blood that atoned the sins, else God would not have made allowances for those who were poor to atone for the sins of ignorance through the offerings of flour.

It was definatly a lesson in God can do anything as if that was not already obvious from the creation. Interesting tid bit on animal sacrifices.

HE WAS WEENING mankind. Well, in any case… this understanding is consistent with the foundation. Blood sacrifices for atonement were made because of man’s guilt… man is learning… we are not gods, ya know.

[/quote]

The whole OT points to the NT and the Messiha completeing the new covanant.

I have sometmes thought about the Sacrifice that Abraham was asked to make. He did prove his trust in God through his willingness to kill his son Isaac. But what did this experience do to Isaac. Isaac must have heard of how other peoples sacrifice their babies. Did hearing the voice from God telling his father not to sacrifice Isaac bring love and a devotion to his father’s God at this young age for Isaac? Did it make the promises made to Abraham about his (Abraham’s descendants) alive for Isaac? Confirm in Isaac that he was actually the son these promises were made (and not Ishmael)?

It is interesting to think about these things. It is more to realize that all the promises made to Abraham are fulfilled in Christ and His Church.

Happy Easter! Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen!

I am sorry I did not reply to all of this. I saw your question and when anyone asks me about the compassion of God, I get excited because I have found Him to be SO very compassionate, merciful, consistent, and having ways that are so VERY gorgeous!

It is MAN’S ways that are not compassionate, consistent, fair, and certainly not comparable to God’s. :dts:

I would like to see where “faith” is talked about with Abraham. God says in Isaiah, over and over again, that the end is declared in the beginning… and thus, anything of relevance in the end, CAN BE found in the beginning.

Only twice have I been able to find “faith” mentioned in the Tanakh. Once was in Habakkuk 2 and that was not put in a good light… it is an obvious warning when put into the context of the whole chapter. That is the ONLY TIME this type of faith (the same as the NT) is spoken of in all of the Tanakh!! Amazing, no?

The ONLY other time faith is spoken of in the Tanakh is in Deuteronomy 32:20 and it actually should be translated from Hebrew as “faithfulness.” And that in fact, fits in nicely not only in the verse, but is consistent with the over 240 times that knowledge is spoken of as being what God says to seek… His Knowledge. Hosea 4:6, without it, God’s people perish… it does not say without faith, God’s people perish… it is without knowledge.

Even if a gift is free if you can still reject it and there fore end up with no gift at all.

God said, thou shalt have no other gods before me. He says He is not a man or the son of man. He says not to worship any images that can be found in the heavens or in the earth. He also says that He will never change (not that He can not change, but that He WILL NOT change).

Along comes this gift of eternal life (a vain thing, mind you) that is contradictory to everything that He said and that in order to have it, I HAVE to believe:

  1. in a man that is God (no other gods before me… remember? He is not a man, remember?) and that I must go THROUGH him to get to God (having another god BEFORE God),
  2. that I have to also have believe that he is the son of man, lest we forget John 3:14 (which God said he is not… and Jesus is right that he is the son of man even if he was born of a virgin lest we forget that virgin was born of a woman AND a man… making jesus still the son of man and again, God said he is not the son of man, remember?)
  3. that I have to worship this image of a man (do not worship any image that can be found in heaven and on earth… last I checked, men live on earth… thus the image is one found on the earth)
  4. and apparently that God changed (because if all of the above is necessary to accept this gift, then I must throw out not only Malachi 3:6, but in that, I must throw out the whole of the foundation on which Christianity claims it is based on… thus, it is a new religion).

In that case, I will certainly reject the gift of eternal life… I will ONLY have the Creator, the only God, before my “eyes.” His ways are right and they are Life.

Yes Israel is refered to has his first born. I do not see the modern day state in the same light as the OT is refering to.

Isaiah 56… that is the Nation of Israel that is of God that we must join ourselves to. You are thinking politics and I am thinking spiritual. and to join the spiritual Israel, it must be done according to Isaiah 56.

Yes, this is my point. He was on his way to obedience to this barbaric act because it was not out of the ordinary to the ancients. Thus, it was not so much a test of Abraham’s obedience, but rather, it was proof to us that God would not use a human to atone for sins.

It was definatly a lesson in God can do anything as if that was not already obvious from the creation. Interesting tid bit on animal sacrifices.

No, it was proof that God was the Creator of Life and that the human life was of great important to Him and thus, it could not be used to atone for sins (or rather, to cover guilt as that is REALLY all the sacrifices were about). If God can do anything, than He can forgive w/out sacrifice, no? He made us knowingly. :slight_smile:

The whole OT points to the NT and the Messiha completeing the new covanant.

And this is where I disagree. :blush: I see the Tanakh as not being an Old testament, but rather a Testament of the true nature of God and sealed with the promise in Malachi 3:6 so that we would have not be deceived into believing man’s ways were His ways. Human Sacrifice was never God’s ways, but rather man’s ways.

If Jesus fulfilled the Law of Torah, then please show me where a man was listed on the acceptable list of sacrificial animals. To have fulfilled the Law, he had to… well… he had to ACTUALLY fulfill it… not to mention, there was not a sacrifice listed that was a once and for all sacrifice in the Law. The only thing that was God’s way in the sacrifices for atonement was the conditions given… the actual sacrifices were man’s ways. God was allowing the people to do them because MAN considered themselves unclean without it. When one is riddled with guilt, they are not likely to learn properly. It was their way of easing guilt and thus, God allowed it WITH conditions. This is confirmed ALL over the Tanakh. One example? Psalm 40 He does not require it. The image of Jesus dying on the cross is an image that men are trusting in rather than trusting in God. He clearly says that He is the ONLY Saviour. His name is LORD, He says… not that He is Lord and His name is JESUS.

If you disagree with this, where does it say in the Law of Torah that a man could be sacrificed as an atonement. I cannot find it. :blush:

Just like all the other people proved their trust to their gods by actually sacrificing their children. shrugs

Did hearing the voice from God telling his father not to sacrifice Isaac bring love and a devotion to his father’s God at this young age for Isaac?

Our physical deaths have nothing to do with sin or being punishment for sin. Else, why do those claiming to have faith in God still die?

The death from sin was not physical… it was death to knowledge (in other words… sin causes ignorance). Hosea 4:6 It is lack of knowledge of God’s ways that destroys His people… not lack of faith in the image of a sacrifice <---- that is man’s way, not God’s.

Having had my eyes opened to the Truth (via Prov 2:1-7), I am FINALLY able to actually know God and have that love and desire to get to know Him further knowing that He DID not sacrifice, nor HAD to sacrifice a man for the atonement of my sins. This is the knowledge and understanding of God. He separated Himself from the false gods through the sending of a ram in the place of a human sacrifice.

It is interesting to think about these things.

It is, isn’t it? I am glad you think so. I love to think about these things.

Happy Easter!

Hope you have a lovely Day! :slight_smile:

simplynoone, There is definatly a distinct difference between our thought processes. You clearly reject the NT. You don’t view the OT as the OT but a testament. If you actualy read Heb. 11:8-10 it clearly sights what faith Abraham had in God testing him.

Second. I do not expect you to nec understand the Messiha (Jesus Christ) since you I am now assuming reject that he was the Messiha. God can do anything including becoming man. Which he did in the NT. The NT compleatly explodes the OT law. We are not bound by OT law for our salvation. This does not mean we should not try and follow it but our salvation does not depend on fofilling it. Thanks to Jesus Christ the Messiha aka God dieing for my transgressions.

Not according to Jesus. Matt 5:17-19. The ONLY person who said anything to this effect was Paul. It was not prophesied to be done in the Tanakh and Jesus did not claim to do this.

We are not bound by OT law for our salvation.

First, what is it you are trying to be saved from? That is the start of being honest with yourself.

This does not mean we should not try and follow it but our salvation does not depend on fofilling it. Thanks to Jesus Christ the Messiha aka God dieing for my transgressions.

I am still waiting for one person to show me one place in the Laws of God where it is said that a man was an acceptable sacrifice for the atonement of the sins of the world. I am sure that the reason that this has not been answered is because it is not there. If it is not there, then Jesus could not have fulfilled that for us.

simplynoone;5092712]Not according to Jesus. Matt 5:17-19. The ONLY person who said anything to this effect was Paul. It was not prophesied to be done in the Tanakh and Jesus did not claim to do this. [/FONT

Realy lets look at some parallels. Lets start with Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses “I AM WHO I AM” He said further "Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “I AM has sent me to you”. This draws along side of John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Very truly, Itell you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Or howbout Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfedt, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple. This draws a parallel to Galations 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
(Christ did this by bearing the burdens of our sin)

[FONT=“Trebuchet MS”]First, what is it you are trying to be saved from? That is the start of being honest with yourself.

What am I trying to be saved from!?:banghead: The same problem that plagues all of humanity. Dirty rotten sinful nature. I have this problem so do you and every person on the face of this planet weather they want to admit it or not.

[FONT=“Trebuchet MS”] I am still waiting for one person to show me one place in the Laws of God where it is said that a man was an acceptable sacrifice for the atonement of the sins of the world. I am sure that the reason that this has not been answered is because it is not there. If it is not there, then Jesus could not have fulfilled that for us.

Well Matt 4:7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, do not put the Lord your God to the test.” This is also repeated in Luke 4:12. Clearly Jesus is referencing him self when he addresses the devil.
Second you are trying to tell me that a simple animal sacrafice is better than the son of the living God dying for my sins? I think not.:eek:
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I don’t think we can prove that. A safer way to understand this is to take it as what it was to mean – a test of Abraham’s obedience to God. “Love the Lord your God with all your strength, your heart and your soul, …” became the rallying cry of the Israelites in order to be the people of the covenant.

Yes he can forgive but that was not how he went about it. The gift of free-will allows human to choose. Though I may not know how to articulate this really well, human must pay the price for sin. Nothing that human do can really pay for the price of sin and when God forgives us of our sin through the death of His Son, then surely he is a forgiving God. But he could not just forgive as if nothing has happened after we sinned. A price has to be paid.

Similarly Adam was driven from the garden after he sinned. God could have forgiven him but he did not. If he did he would not be true to his word. “If you eat of the fruit, you will die …”

No comment here except that God did communicate to humans in ways that humans can understand, sometimes.

Maybe you are being too literal and miss out on the spirit of the message. Jesus apostles did not understand too until after the road to Emmaus.

The sacrifice thing should be understood as a pre-figure for a perfect sacrifice that was to come. As I said nothing humans do can truly be sufficient as exchange for the forgiveness of sin. Like they say if you commit a traffic offence you have to pay the fine before you’re set free. It does not matter who pays the fine but once paid you’re off the hook.

The fine for sin is death.

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