If you are still struggling with the scriptural truth that God has mercy on whom He desires and He hardens whom He desires (Romans 9:18), you need to hear the reason for this that the apostle Paul gives in Romans 9:18-24. In short, it has to do with God’s glory. The final and deepest argument Paul gives for why God acts in sovereign freedom is that this way of acting displays most fully the glory of God—including His wrath against sin and His power in judgment.
In the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, God’s Word shows us that God uses evil and evil men to bring about His predetermined purposes. Each time Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he refused to let God’s people go, it resulted in a further display of God’s power so that God’s name would be proclaimed throughout the whole world. When Pharaoh, or anyone else, chooses to reject the right, he will be hardened in the wrong. That’s what sin and rebellion against God does. It hardens the heart more and more against God.
The second part of the message contains a remarkable insight into how the hearts of the enemies of Jesus were hardened leading up to the cross. Whereby Jesus was delivered over by the predetermined plan of God and was nailed to the cross by the hands of godless men (cf. Acts 2:23).
Is God Unjust?
For [God] says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
It’s a question of God’s fairness. If He only chooses some to be heirs of the promise and not others, people say that God is unfair. Yet Romans 9:16 teaches that people are not chosen or rejected because of who they were or what they had done or even would do. How can God elect one person and reject another before they were even born? God’s Word gives us the answers to these kind of questions.
In Romans 9:6-13, the apostle Paul continues to answer objections to what he has been teaching. This time, the God’s word is called into question, “Has the Word of God failed?” Paul answers the basic question, “If the Jews have rejected and crucified Jesus, the Son of God, does that mean God’s purposes were frustrated and His plan defeated?” Has God’s Word failed?
Paul answers literally, “And it is not possible that the word of God has failed.”
In Romans 9:1-5, the apostle Paul answers questions that would have been raised in opposition to what he has been writing in his letter to the Romans.
The first question is, “If God offered salvation to the Gentiles (non-Jews), does that mean that God has forsaken His ancient people Israel?”
The second question is, “If salvation is from the Jews and is first of all to the Jews, why did Israel, including her highest religious leaders, reject Jesus as their Messiah, Savior, and King?”
What about Israel today? Does God still have a plan and purpose for the State of Israel?