“Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” (Romans 9:21-24).
Since Pharaoh’s hardness of heart was essential to the Jews’ deliverance from Egyptian bondage, was God unrighteous to hold him responsible (and thus punishable) for his sin?
Since Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was predicted in Scripture and was an essential ingredient to Jesus’ crucifixion, is God unrighteous to hold him responsible (and thus punishable) for his sin?
Since the Jews’ rejection of Jesus was predicted in Scripture and was an integral ingredient to the Messiah’s atoning death, is God unrighteous to hold them responsible (and thus punishable) for their sin?
Certainly NOT! Certainly NOT! Certainly NOT!
Only an evil heart full of unmitigated arrogance would charge God with unrighteousness.
Pharaoh, Judas, Paul’s countrymen according to the flesh, and all the rest of humanity live in God’s world. So, who indeed are you to reply against God?
God tolerated Jewish obstinacy and disobedience from Mount Sinai to Mount Calvary. He endured their ungodliness and arrogance with much longsuffering. He did not do this because of how wonderful and deserving they were; He did it so that He “might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory” to everyone who obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile (Romans 9:23-24). He did it to fulfill/keep His word as spoken by His prophets Hosea and Isaiah (Romans 9:25-29).
Yes, the Potter does have power over the clay.