“I will harden Pharaoh’s heart...”
In his famous book, entitled “A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens tells us the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge was a brilliant businessman, who made a fortune as a money lender during a time of economic recession in England. He counted his piles of money every day, but wouldn’t share a farthing or a penny with anyone. He forced his employees to work long hours and holidays and paid them a misery.
Scrooge was a man with a heart of stone. He charged exorbitant interest rates, and if someone was unable to repay, he would repossess everything they owned and evicted them into the street. In short, Scrooge was like the Pharaoh: A man with a hardened heart.
Ebenezer Scrooge deserved to be punished, but as the story goes, he had one final opportunity. He was visited by three “ghosts” who showed him not only his past wickedness, but also his future condemnation. As a result Scrooge repented and became the most tender and generous individual in that city.
Sadly, not all stonehearted men respond positively to God’s call. On the contrary, they harden their hearts more and more, until it is God the One who hardens their heart.
Is this possible? Is it true that God hardens hearts? The answer is yes. But God only hardens hearts that are already petrified by sin and rejection. Those who listen to God’s voice have tender hearts, because God’s Word is the sword that broke the stone.
Do you have a tender heart?