Our normal pastor was away at a conference this week so another elder stepped in and taught this morning’s lesson. He made an interesting point this morning. He addressed the issue of Pharoh seeming to not have any choice in whether or not to let the Israelites go. As I life-long Arminian I have always had trouble explaining this. If God gives us free will, where does He get off “doing” that to Pharoh?
Now that I’ve gone over to the “dark side” of Christianity known as Calvinistic thought, I think I finally understand. This morning’s message really put this whole issue in a different light. It wasn’t so much that God took away Pharoh’s ability to decide, what God did was to remove His own restraining influence on Pharoh. Just as when the floodgates on the dam are opened, the river does what it naturally wants (to flow downstream.) When God removed His restraining influence on Pharoh, Pharoh did what he natually wanted to do. Pharoh was finally given true free will and his choice was to consistently go against the will of God. Pharoh was finally and truly an Arminian!
Our God is the hands-on God. He exerts a constant influence in our world. Without that influence we revert to our natural lawless, hateful state. Thank God He manages our universe for our benefit.