It's Not God's Fault
a topic that has created much pain since Calvin attempted in about 1550AD to excuse sin and failure as "God's fault"
Questions For Today (a topic that has created much pain since Calvin attempted circa 1550AD to excuse sin and failure and hell as “God's fault”)
Q. “Hello, John. Would you kindly take a moment and explain this text to me, Isaiah 44:9-18, especially verses 18-20?”—Bob
A. Bob, you and I have gone ’round and ’round on the Calvinist persuasion so it is not likely we will reach a consensus here. But here are my explanations.
Verse 18, the verse you’re mostly interested in, reads, “They [idolaters] know not, nor do they discern, for He has shut their eyes so that they cannot see, and their hearts so that they cannot understand.”
From the 10th to the 17th verse of Isaiah 44, a unique strain of irony is used against idolatry. The 18th verse seems to teach, as well as the context, that when a person is intent on going his own way, such as committing idolatry, the Lord helps him along. The apostle Paul referred to the same kind of stubborn people—those who are bent on doing the opposite of what God wants, when he wrote:
“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thess. 2:10-12).
A good example of being deluded are the many “sightings” of “The Virgin Mary.” Another “sighting” was broadcast just the other day. These gullible people are deluded and believing a big lie, just as the apostle Paul said. And which religious institution supports and promotes this sort of thing? Roman Catholicism. The Calvinist denominations have their own versions of delusions and power trips.
If I were a gullible person and someone told me he had seen an alien spacecraft with the letters “UFO” written in English across its belly, I’d fall for it—just as the deluded fall head-long into the “sightings” of “The Virgin Mary.”
So, yes, “God sends them a strong delusion.” It can take many forms in the human heart that is deluded, depending on one’s agenda that satan can work through. This applies to those who have no intentions of turning their lives around by casting pride, idolatry and wickedness from their lives and worshipping the true God of creation only.
Pharaoh, king of old Egypt, is a good case at hand. God knew he would never honor and worship Him, so He helped him along in his rebellious ways in order to forward His agenda for the children of Israel and to display His glory. The record says God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, but only after Pharaoh had hardened his own heart (Exodus 8 and 9). And none of this was a “Salvation” issue, as some want to “use” this today. It had to do with God’s Purposes for His People, only.
No, God does not compel some people to be blind and therefore lost, and others to see and discern and therefore saved. To take this position is to distort the very nature of a merciful God.