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But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.
Exodus 10:20How does the Lord harden the hearts of men? In the same way in which the heart of Pharaoh was hardened. God sent this king a message of warning and mercy, but he refused to acknowledge the God of heaven, and would not render obedience to His commands. He asked, "Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice?"
The Lord gave him evidence of His power by working signs and miracles before him. The great I AM acquainted Pharaoh with His mighty works, showing him that He was the ruler of heaven and earth, but the king chose to defy the God of heaven. He would not consent to break his proud, stubborn heart even before the King of kings, that he might receive the light; for he was determined to have his own way, and work out his rebellion. He chose to do his own will, and set aside the command of God, and the very evidence given him that Jehovah was above all the gods of the nations, above all the wise men and magicians, only served to blind his mind and harden his heart.
Had Pharaoh accepted the evidence of God's power given in the first plague, he would have been spared all the judgments that followed. But his determined stubbornness called for still greater manifestations of the power of God, and plague followed plague, until at last he was called to look upon the dead face of his own first born, and those of his kindred; while the children of Israel, whom he had regarded as slaves, were unharmed by the plagues, untouched by the destroying angel. God made it evident upon whom rested His favor, who were His people.
Every additional evidence of the power of God that the Egyptian monarch resisted, carried him on to a stronger and more persistent defiance of God. . . . This case is a clear illustration of the sin against the Holy Ghost. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Gradually the Lord withdrew His Spirit. Removing His restraining power, He gave the king into the hands of the worst of all tyrants--self.