Paul refers to this situation in Romans 9:17. If we look at Exodus 7 – 12 from Pharaoh’s point of view. He was calling the shots, he was the one who was hardening his heart. Yet if we look at it from God’s perspective, according to the text both in Exodus 7 – 12 and Romans 9:17, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.
That God’s name would be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.
Proverbs 21:1 supports this as well. God has control and can direct the heart of a king.
It struck me that God’s purposes cannot be thwarted by man’s choices. He is not bound by the whims or decisions of man. He can and does channel those thoughts and choices, as illustrated here with Pharaoh.
One application of this personally, is that I can rest in that truth. When I am faced with a difficult leader, boss, person, situation, I can know for certain that God’s purpose in that situation cannot be stopped. I also, based on 1 John 4:16 – 17 and Romans 8:28, can trust that the situation is a manifestation of God’s love and goodness.
That is an anchor for me in difficulty.