The account of the ten plagues of Egypt frequently refers to the ‘hardening’ of Pharaoh’s heart. Because ‘hardness of heart’ suggests to us something to do with the emotions, Goldingay prefers to think of this as ‘the closing of Pharaoh’s mind’. There are four aspects to this:-
Yahweh will close Pharaoh’s mind: Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 14:4
Pharaoh’s mind was closed: Exodus 7:13, 14, 22; 8:19; 9:7, 35
With regard to the problem of evil, three things can be asserted with confidence:-
1. The evil reality of evil, Isa 5:20.
2. The all-embracing sovereignty of the Lord, Eph 1:11.
3. The perfect goodness of God and of his work, Gen 1:31.
There is, no doubt, great difficulty in reconciling these three, yet we hold them all to be true. Indeed, we find them intertwined on the cross, ‘an evil than which no greater can be conceived’ (Hick), which, nevertheless, was predestined by God, (Acts 4:28) and which was the ultimate expression of the goodness of God.…
that continued exercise of the divine energy whereby the Creator preserves all his creatures, is operative in all that comes to pass in the world, and directs all things to their appointed end. (Berkhof)
The doctrines of creation and providence are inseparably connected: the same God who made all things continues to sustain them moment by moment.
God’s providence is all-encompassing, Psa 115:3; Mt 10:30; Eph 1:11. Natural events, such as the wind and the rain, are part of his ordering, even though these can sometimes lead to disaster, Lk 13:1-5.…
John Calvin deals with this doctrine fairly early on in the Institutes – in Book 1, Chapters 16-18.
In Chapter 16, he begins by asserting that ‘we see the presence of divine power as much in the continuing state of the universe as in its inception.’ In other words, God’s power is as apparent in his works of providence as it is in his work of creation. The One who made the world sustains and governs it.…
Recent study of Psalm 107 has led me to think about the doctrine of providence.
By ‘divine providence’ we mean God’s superintendence over all things; his ordering of everything that comes to pass. Providence is an extension of creation: it is God sustaining that which he has made.
There is an instinct whereby even irreligious people ask, ‘Why?’ People seem to have a deeply-held belief that everything that happens not only has a cause, but also a reason.…