Romans 9:16-17 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
The Apostle Paul is quoting Exodus 9:16.
Here is a text book example of a man’s will on display verses the will of God. Pharaoh is representing the nation Egypt. The Apostle Paul is pointing out man’s will or a nation’s will is no match for God’s will. Pharaoh clearly exerts his choices and will towards the Jewish slaves in Egypt. Little does Pharaoh know, he is being used by God.
Critics would say Pharaoh had no choice in the matter. They argue Pharaoh was made for failure. The critic says God is not fair and unjust towards Pharaoh.
Moses has one simple request.
Exodus 5:1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’”
Exodus 5:2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”
But look at Pharaoh’s attitude when he first encounters Moses the representative of God. Pharaoh clearly understands Moses and Aaron. There is no confusion. Pharaoh does not acknowledge God. He questions His authority and existence. Pharaoh is not interested in playing along with this so-called LORD’s request. Pharaoh will have his way and do what he wants regardless of any request. Israel is going nowhere. Israel will stay under the authority of Egypt. The Hebrew people have work to do for Pharaoh.
God is formal with Pharaoh. He introduces Himself by His proper name. YHWH (scholars refer to this as the Tetragrammaton, Greek for four letters) is the proper name of the Hebrew God of the Bible. The correct spelling is YHWH. Note, there are no vowels in this term. Vowels from the name Adonai were substituted and the term Yahweh emerged. Jehovah is a word that has been translated to English from the Hebrew, Yahweh. The name for LORD is Jehovah. It means the existing one. This name is so sacred, Jews refuse to pronounce it. The name is first introduced in Exodus 3:14 when Moses and God are having a discussion. His name is a statement of existence.
Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
If one is looking for proof that God created or God exists, you are wasting your time. It is assumed. God is eternal and self-existent. God always has been and always will be.