|softened and pliable... or hardened?|
God hardens whom He will. If we have a problem with this, it is because we don't like God being God. He is the Potter; we are the clay. He has the power.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?