The story of the Exodus continually speaks of God hardening the heart of Pharoah. Most are confused by this, because it seems that God is hindering progress of delivering His people from their slavery. This is not the case.
In Exodus 5, when Moses and Aaron first said, "Let my people go," Pharoah simply refused. "Who are you that I should obey your God's voice?" he asked.
Though the scripture does not mention the hardening of the heart, the process began. Pharoah decided to let the children of Israel make their bricks without straw, which would have been a great hindrance to progress. No man of sound mind would make such a commandment unless he did not expect results. His heart was hardened.
As the servants labored without good production, they were beaten harshly. Pharoah commanded that the same number of bricks be given to the people, though they had no straw.
Even Moses and Aaron were confused by this. "Why have you done this evil to the people?" they asked. "Why did you even send me to Pharoah, things are worse now than before, and the people have not been delivered?"
God had a plan.
The children of Israel were comfortable with their lifestyle. They had been slaves for several years, and saw the overwhelming power of Egypt. To them, Moses must have seemed like such a small thing compared to the great army of Egyptians.
Had Pharoah allowed them to leave, warning them that they would no longer be under the protection of the Egyptian army, many would have refused! The children of Israel had never fought their own battles against other nations, nor did they want to. Egypt was security, and they were comfortable.
God did not harden Pharoah's heart for the sake of Pharoah, He did it for His children. With each instance of Pharoah's heart being hardened, the children of Israel became more aware that they were serving under a ruthless ruler concerned only with his own pleasure in power. God flushed Pharoah's power and money hungry personality to the surface so that the children of Israel could see his evil.
Because of the hardness of Pharoah's heart, the children of Israel were given bravery.
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: If we are in a church with false teachings, do we stay out of comfort? Do we attend because of our love of God, or because of our friends and family? Can we see God hardening the hearts of the pastors spreading false doctrines? Can we see the congregation becoming unsettled by their angry personalities being flushed to the surface? Are we beginning our Exodus to Christ?