So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. Romans 9:18
We may observe God’s different dealings with men. He has mercy on some and hardens others. When God is here spoken of as hardening some of the children of men, it is not to be understood that God by any positive efficiency hardens any man’s heart. There is no positive act in God, as though He put forth any power to harden the heart. To suppose any such thing would be to make God the immediate Author of sin.
God is said to harden men in two ways. The first is by withholding the powerful influences by His Spirit, without which their hearts will remain hardened and grow harder and harder; in this sense He hardens them, as He leaves them to hardness. He does it also by ordering those things in His providence which, through the abuse of their corruption, become the occasion of their hardening. Thus God sends His Word and ordinances to men which, by their abuse, prove an occasion of their hardening. So the apostle said that he was unto some “a savor of death unto death.” So God is represented as sending Isaiah on this errand: to make the hearts of the people fat, to make their ears heavy, and to shut their eyes, lest they should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and convert and be healed (Isaiah 6:10). Isaiah’s preaching was, in itself, of a contrary tendency, to make them better. But their abuse of it rendered it an occasion of their hardening. The foundation of His different dealing is His sovereign will and pleasure.
Jonathan Edwards, who is considered the finest theologian America has ever produced, was known for his logical mind and warm devotion to the Lord. His exposition of Scripture remains a source of powerful edification for the church. Here are 120 excerpts from this great preacher of the word presented in a daily devotional format. Edwards certainly was an amazing philosopher and a great theologian, but his insights into God’s Word are also down to earth, practical, and devotional. Each devotion is based on a Scripture verse and Edwards is always careful to draw your attention to the text to be fed by God’s Word, not by man’s thoughts and imaginations.
It is a good resource for personal devotions or as an introduction to the thought of Edwards. You will find comfort for the soul, encouragement and exhortations for the heart, and practical instructions for the mind.