So how does a heart get hardened?
Let’s start this way: just as surely as there is only one God, there is only one Bible – just one. No one has added another book to the Old Testament; and there is not a chapter twenty-three for Revelation out there awaiting inclusion in the New Testament. So there is just one finite set of scriptures. It was separated into Old and New Testaments with all of it well settled a long, long time ago.
This is the oldest compiled text known to man regardless of what any archaeologists, scientists, preachers, pseudo-believers or atheists may say. Its narrative goes all the way back to the beginning and the first section dates long before any other volume of any kind found anywhere. And there are not five hundred different versions telling a thousand different stories. There is just one and its theme is the same from beginning to end. It in total contains sixty-six letters and books which were written by about forty persons, from kings to commoners, over a period of about two thousand years; and most of those folks who wrote the various letters and parts never met or ever heard of one another. The Scriptures, this Bible, is the only set of books that claims to be absolutely true and to have come directly word-for-word from God. It is the original score – the sole source of everything we know about God and the Son of God, angels and demons, life and death, heaven and hell; and it is the earliest history of mankind. That is a remarkable endorsement taken all by itself.
And so if we accept that and that is the start of building faith; then that also means there is only one book with accurate instructions on how to live while here, and how to get out of here alive. It is also the only volume that answers all the questions about death and salvation, and answers the question of the ages: what must I do to be saved? And it is the only book that explains the requirements and what that means. No other book, religious or otherwise, takes any of that up: no, not one. And the Bible states repeatedly that following after alternative religions or versions, or leaning upon their books and teaching is looked upon as a form of rebellion by the only living God – the one it states who left the books of the OT and NT for us to read and live by.
With all of that understood then it becomes a matter of acceptance or rejection of the Bible and its source. Those who will have no time for it and nothing to do with it, who accept nothing at all or buy into alternate theories will become hardened against it and what it states, just like all the dead Pharaohs whose mummified remains lay in museums and tombs. The choice of acceptance is left to the listeners as to how they will account for it. We all get the choice to either believe it or reject it.
And no matter what, some will choose another path, a well-worn one that gets farther and farther away from God’s Word with each and every step. They may say that they have found a better way. Or they say nothing at all and simply go their own way quietly into eternity’s night. They believe this and reject that. But in the end they stand on theories found elsewhere (that means theories invented by men). The majority will never spend a minute reading the scriptures. They reject part or all of what is said sight unseen. Yet no matter how you slice it – free will put them where they end up; because each one made a choice consciously or unconsciously. Many will make that unconscious decision – they cannot find a reason for concern. They have no interest in such things on any level. And when we get to any of these states then we have hardened up our hearts to God. He freely gave, and we get to choose to use what he gave us or to ignore part or all of it.
So how exactly then did God go about hardening Pharaoh’s heart? It seems to me that all He did was to send in His chosen messengers who stated exactly what they were told and who performed the signs just as God instructed them. Then God stopped serving up options for Pharaoh and examples of His power. The Lord God Almighty went silent and allowed things to go the way Pharaoh chose; and the Egyptians did the rest. When the talking and signs were done, Pharaoh had made up his mind. The Egyptians were not forced to follow the slaves out into the dry sea bed. But Pharaoh ignored all of what he had seen and witnessed and led them there. And then God finished it up exactly as He had promised to Moses and Israel and destroyed them all.
Brothers and sisters, that is exactly how it works today.