In this week’s Parashah Hashem warns Moshe that He will harden Par’oh’s heart against repentance. How could Hashem deny Par’oh the freedom of choice to repent?
The Chofetz Chaim answers that Hashem usually provides assistance to sinners to help them repent. However, in some instances sinners have sunk so far that Hashem no longer provides assistance. This is what happened to Par’oh. While in theory he could have recanted at any time, he no longer had the Divine support to help him out of that hole. It is all too easy to feel depressed when the Yeitzer HaRa gains the upper hand temporarily, but we must always remember that as long as we strive to do what is right Hashem is there to help us recover.