“Pharaoh hardened his heart” (Exodus 7:22).
Ever since Adam ate from the forbidden fruit, God has been acting to fix this world and bring it to its ultimate perfection. Destiny is nothing more than the progress toward human perfection. Ultimately, everything will turn out exactly as God planned and willed. Therefore even the actions of the wicked do not affect His design in the slightest. The Divine blueprint is very profound and God is able to manipulate everything according to His ultimate plan.
Nevertheless, it is absolutely forbidden to violate any law of the Torah. We often fail to realize how important and powerful we truly are. By breaking a Torah law, we cause damage to all of the upper worlds and bring about much spiritual destruction. Unless a person sincerely regrets his past actions and changes his ways, a time of reckoning will be had in order to cleanse him from the spiritual filth he has created.
Notwithstanding this, God’s blueprint for the world remains intact and God will finish exactly as He planned. It is absolutely impossible for us to understand how this is possible – for on the one hand, He is in control, while on the other hand, we have freedom of choice. However, this is one of the fundamental principles that Rebbe Nachman taught us.
We do find many examples of actions that violate the Torah and yet fulfill the desire of God. In this week’s parashah, Pharaoh hardened his heart against the clear demonstration of God’s sovereignty through the Ten Plagues. But each time he refused to listen and let the Jews leave, it led to a greater sanctification of God’s Name through the miraculous display of yet another plague. Similarly, Pharaoh’s intent to destroy the Jewish nation through harsh bondage resulted in the Jews becoming humbled enough to receive the Torah.
Precisely because God is so lofty and can manipulate the world to bring it to its ultimate perfection, we always have the ability to do teshuvah (repentance). Even if someone were to transgress the entire Torah a thousand times, God forbid, God remains above it all and no harm will come to His ultimate plan. Therefore we should never give up hope! God waits patiently for us to show genuine remorse and regret. Then He will guide the world in a way that our past misdeeds will somehow be transformed to fix the world.
As Rebbe Nachman declared, “There is a way that everything can become for the best!”
Based on this concept, Reb Yitzchak Breiter writes:
Know and understand that everything that happens to us, both spiritually and materially – including what we ourselves do, whether deliberately or unwittingly, willfully or under compulsion – all comes about through the decree of God. Even if you want to accomplish something holy, if you are not yet sufficiently worthy and have not sanctified yourself enough to achieve it, Heaven arranges things in such a way that you get distracted from it. Some idea gets implanted in your mind that prevents you from carrying out the holy deed, even if you want to. This is not because God wants to take revenge, but because of His love. …
The thing to do is cry out to God about all the wrong you have done. Tell God everything. Pour out your heart to Him and plead with Him for your very life. Ask Him to help you get nearer your holy goal. God’s way of dealing with us in this respect is one of His most amazing wonders. His understanding of us and our needs is perfect (Seven Pillars of Faith, Pillar #1).
Based on Likutey Halakhot, Simaney Beheimah VeChayah 4