In the God's pleasure; man's free will thread, the discussion has focused on general/limited atonement and conditional/unconditional election, though not necessarily in so many words. I have despaired that we will get back to the actual theme in that comment thread, so I have pulled out one context to post here and see anyone wants to discuss it. Please keep discussing on the other thread.
In the book of Numbers God records Israel coming to the land of the Amorites. They sent messengers to Sihon the king asking to be allowed to pass through thy land: they said would go straight through and not get off the main highway. Sihon would not give permission for Israel to pass through his country but rather gathered his people together to fight against Israel.
In a divine commentary on this incident we are told: "But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day. (Deut 2:30)" Do you believe it? Is it so? The reason Sihon did not allow the Israelites to pass through his land peacefully is because God hardened him and made him obstinate. The end of this was to judge him and give his land to the people of Israel.
So I ask you, do you believe the Bible as it is literally recorded here? Did God actually harden Sihon's spirit and make his heart obstinate, or do we need to shave it here and there to make it fit our ideas of free will and fairness? Is it wrong because it is not fair, or must it right because God did it? Or something else?