What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore, God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. (Romans 9:14-18)
God chose to give Moses mercy and compassion and chose to give Pharaoh a hardened heart to show His glory. God made Pharaoh great and gave him power over all of Egypt. Then, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart as Pharaoh opposed Israel, and God brought the plagues upon Egypt. Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened as he pursued Israel across the divided Red Sea. As all of Israel finished crossing the Red Sea, God allowed the walls of water to come down and swallow up Pharaoh and his army. Pharaoh was made for the purpose of opposing God and His chosen people so God could show His glory by destroying Pharaoh to protect His children. In the same way God showed His glory by destroying Hitler.
What is the Glory of God? In Exodus 33:18 Moses asks God to show him His glory. God replies “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you; and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” Then, God’s glory is God showing grace and compassion to those of us who don’t deserve it. God also showed His glory through Jesus whom he sent to save us from sin and to make us righteous. (See Hebrews 1:3 and Romans 6:4.) Thirdly, God shows His glory by giving humans His power to overcome evil. (See Ephesians 3:16.)
It is important to take away from this Scripture that history, the present, and the future of mankind does not depend on human desire and effort; it depends on God’s mercy, the grace He gives us daily to make us more Christlike. In being Christlike, we need to contemplate the sacrifice Christ made for us. On the cross, Christ pushed us from the path of the bus. At that moment, He sacrificed himself so that we could have life and live life abundantly by using His power for the purpose of doing His will.
2 thoughts on “Bible Study Devotional -Day 54 – Commentary Romans 9:14-18 – Why does God show us mercy? Why does God harden hearts? What is God’s glory?”
I pray for God’s mercy and guidance but it is always His will.
Pam, yes, it is always good to pray for God’s will and not our own. I read this prayer in Karen Kingsbury’s novel, Fame, last night, and I want to share it. “God, please now my future see; make it clear where I should be. Open windows, close the doors, not my will, my God, but yours.”