The Hebrew word for harden in Exodus is Chazaq- give courage, to embolden to do what's already in the heart. God hardened Pharaoh's heart, gave him courage to act out what was already in his heart, so that He could show His incredible power. To show that He was God.
Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you. Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the LORD your God to take this deadly plague away from me." Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD. And the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt. But the LORD hardened (Chazaq- gave him courage to do what was already in his heart) Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites go. Exodus 10:16-20
Pharoh changes his mind and admits he has sinned. And though his mind changed, it hadn't gone any deeper than that. When God emboldened his heart, unwillingness came out. He was unmoved, unwilling to change his actions and let the people go.
Repentance is a change of mind leading to a change of action. It looks on the outside like Pharoah had true repentance, but God knows the heart and Chazaq-ed him so we also can see his heart.
Saul is another example of false repentance in 1 Sam. 15. Tall, lanky, who hides in baggage in fear Saul won't even admit he did anything wrong. And then when he is confronted by Samuel he admits something went wrong but then begins to blameshift, blaming the people and even Samuel. When he finally "repents" (or falsely repents) he does so only because he doesnt want the consequence and pleads with Samuel "please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel". He is more concerned about his reputation than about offending the living God.
True repentance that leads to a change of action requires being real about who we are and surrendering our "rights" to the God who made us, the God who loves us dearly. A surrendered mind leads to surrendered actions.
So, if God Chazaq-ed you. What would be the result? What is in your heart that if God gave you more courage, you would actually do it? What does it take for you to trust God with ________? Do you demand He show you His worthiness or is His Word enough for you to trust? And even if He demonstrated His worthiness of trust... would you trust Him then?
Oh Lord, what things in my life am I not trusting You with? Help me live surrendered to you.
Lord, thank you for...
*Psalm 103:17 "But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's heart is with those who fear Him and His righteousness with thier children's children." My hope can be in the reality that You will do what is right. And though I dont always know what the right thing is... You do and will do it.
*That you will always do what's best for kids. You will use them for Your glory.
*That you don't leave us without strength and empowerment for what You've called us to.
* Your ability to give us desires for You.
* Your ability to give us courage
*To purify our hearts.