The question we have before us from the Divine Governance thread is where man's free will resides within God's divine governance. I reassert that I believe man can make choices. I deny that man can do as he pleases. Only God can do that.
Does God do what He pleases? Yes. (Cf. Psalm 115:3; 135:6; Jonah 1:14; Isaiah 46:10; et al.)
Can anyone stop Him from doing so? No. (Cf. Dan. 4:35; Isa. 14:14-27; 43:13; et al.)
Can God move, turn and/or change the will of man? Yes. (Cf. below)
Does God move, turn and/or change the will of man? I believe this is a main sticking point between a lot of Christians. I assert that God not only can, but does, move, turn, and /or change the will of man -- according to numerous Scriptures, if we take them at their simple and literal meaning.
God changes events.
Many will agree here, at least if we don't push it too far. God is sovereignly absolutely in control of all events that take place in His universe. We can quibble over what He "causes" and what He "allows", but how can any Bible reader deny that God is working out His will in all things?
God was in control of the events of the destruction of Job's possessions, deaths of his children, and debilitation of his body.
Job 1:21 - And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Job 23:13-14 - But he (God) is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. For he (God) performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
God was in control in settling Israel in the land of Canaan, even to making it an inhospitable place for others.
Exodus 23:28 - And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.
Deuteronomy 7:20 - Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed.
Joshua 24:12 - And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.
Psalms 44:1-2 - O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days...How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.
God was in control of Ahab's death -- He determined the cause, the events and the instrument.
I Kings 22:23 - Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
I Kings 22:34 - And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.
(God also kept Jehoshaphat from being killed: II Chron. 18:31 - And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.)
God was in control of when and where the Israelites would go into captivity.
Jer. 29:4 - Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;
Ezek. 39:28 - Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.
God changes minds.
Many are not so disturbed by God's influence of events, and probably don't meditate too much on the fact that in changing events He changes minds. But what disturbs the human mind is to suppose that it is not free to think and do as it wishes.
God hardened Pharoah's heart against the Jews, that He might deliver Israel and destroy the Egyptians.
Exodus 4:21 - And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
(God said he would harden Pharaoh's heart long before it mentions Pharaoh hardening his heart.)
God turned the heart of the Egyptians against Israel, before and after Moses came.
Psalm 105:25 - He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.
Exodus 14:17 - And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
(Egyptians didn't make a free will decision to drown in the Red Sea. They were hardened by God to follow Israel to die in the sea.)
God hardened Sihon's heart and made him obstinate, and then judged him.
Deut 2:30 - 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.
The king, whether Pharaoh, Sihon or someone else, in in the Lord's hands. Proverbs 21:1 - The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. Romans 9:18 - Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
God, using Satan, provoked David to number Israel.
II Sam. 24:1 - And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
I Chron. 21:1 - And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
God blinded the eyes and hardened the hearts of some of those to whom Isaiah preached, as well as some to whom Jesus preached and preformed miracles.
John 12:40 - He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
Isaiah 6:9-10 - And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
God turned the heart of the Assyrian king to favor the people of Israel.
Ezra 6:22 - And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
When we think of God doing as He pleases, we must be careful to not mix in our ideas of human emotions and pleasures. We probably think of pleasure often in the sense of "enjoyment or satisfaction derived from what is to one's liking; gratification; recreation or amusement; sensual gratification." But in reference to God, we should think of it more in the sense of pleasure being "one's will, desire, or choice."
Isa 53:10 - Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
When the Bible says it pleased the Lord to bruise/crucify His Messiah, it is not in the sense that He received some kind of sensual or sadistic gratification, but that He was fulfilling His will from the foundation of the world. The Hebrew word chaphets -- to delight in, take pleasure in, desire, be pleased with -- is also translated will.
God will do all His pleasure. Let us leave off our humanistic worries about Him somehow violating our free will. He doeth all things well.
Isa 46:10 - Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Psalms 115:3 - But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
Psalms 135:6 - Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
Isaiah 46:10 - Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Isaiah 43:13 - Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?
Daniel 4:35 - And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?