Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 15, 2017

“So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 6:8-13.

“8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”  Then I said, “Here am I.  Send me!”  9 He said, “Go, and tell this people:

‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’
10 “Render the hearts of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?”  And He answered,

“Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant,
Houses are without people
And the land is utterly desolate,
12 “The Lord has removed men far away,
And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13 “Yet there will be a tenth portion in it,
And it will again be subject to burning,
Like a terebinth or an oak
Whose stump remains when it is felled.
The holy seed is its stump.”  Isaiah 6:8-13.

———————————-

Verse 10 may seem harsh.  (“Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.”)

But, verse 10 makes it very clear that God’s sovereignty rules over man’s alleged free-will.

It reminds us of Romans 9:18-21.

So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault?   For who resists His will?”  On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?  The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?  Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?”  Romans 9:18-21.

As God hardened Pharaoh’s heart to accomplish His purpose, God hardened Israel’s heart to accomplish His purpose.  God hardened Pharaoh’s heart to demonstrate His power.  God hardened Israel’s heart to punish Israel.

But, there is hope!

Verse 13 gives hope that God will leave a remnant to be saved including a Savior.

And, Romans 11:25-29 gives hope that all the elect of God in Israel will be saved.

“25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;  26 and so all Israel will be saved;  just as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
27 “This is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers;  29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”   Romans 11:25-29.

We see “God’s choice” in Romans 11:28, and we see God’s “calling” in Romans 11:29.  Both refer to God’s elect.

Other doctrine is about man’s alleged free-will.

But, Reformed Doctrine is about God’s sovereignty and God’s salvation of His elect.  

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