they see it). His word rebukes the sinner who then gets his back up and rebels evenfurther.There is much merit in the argument that God's word does harden some. However, isthat the only means God uses to harden people's hearts whom he hardens? That is a very difficult question to answer. After all of the plagues were over and Pharaoh hadreleased the children of Israel to leave Egypt, God instructs Moses to camp at PiHahiroth by the sea (Exod. 14:2) the reason being, "
Then I will harden Pharaoh's heart,so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army,that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD
." (Exodus 14:4 NKJV) Here it seemsa further hardening was coming. God intended for Pharaoh and his army to enter intothe Red Sea for their destruction.That this is certain we can ascertain from the following passage:"
And the LORD said to Moses, 'Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. Thenthe Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen
.'" (Exod. 14:15-18 NKJV)This hardening seems to have come when the Egyptians were on the very edge of the bed of the Red Sea. It is hard to see how this hardening was just a function of therejection of God's word for this hardening seems to be in addition to the hardening thathad occurred earlier. On its face it seems to be a hardening separate and apart from the word.In Joshua 11 we find a similar passage along much the same lines. Joshua and thechildren of Israel are at war against the inhabitants of Canaan (the Promised Land). Thepassage reads as follows:"
There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, except the Hivites,the inhabitants of Gibeon. All the others they took in battle. For it was of the LORD toharden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroythem, as the LORD had commanded Moses
." (Josh. 11:19-20 NKJV)There were 7 nations in the land of Canaan that God wanted totally destroyed. They were the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, theHivites, and the Jebusites (Deut. 7:1-2). Why were they to be destroyed? Was it just tomake room for the children of Israel? No, it was because of sin. "
It is because of thewickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you