In Romans, Paul is trying to explain through human argument what the "condescension" or Will of God is like. Many reason and ask the same questions that Paul is sharing. If God's Will is primary then why does He blame me? I find Paul's answer a human or finite argument, rather than a spiritual or infinite one. Paul essentially says, God is God and since He is the Creator, He can do what He wants. Yes that is true, but this argument makes God look unjust - to subject some on a whim and not on others under another whim! Remember the Gospel must be harmonized. In other words, all testimony about God must agree for truth to remain true! For example. We can say in one place God is flesh and then in another witness say that God is spirit. In the natural, both contradict each other and would force one or both to be false, but in the spiritual, they are both true. We learn that God is a triune God. We also learn that Jesus who is God came to earth to put on flesh, not as God, but as flesh to procure equal treatment of all flesh by the immutable standard of God. That which is "tortuously" characterized in the natural is "simply" explained in the spiritual! Temporal, human, fleshly arguments will always, sooner than later, lead to contradictory concepts, but spiritual arguments grounded in Truth, will never contradict! They will lead to Jesus Christ. Paul is correct that God fore-chooses those who will obtain mercy ONLY because God is omniscient and lives outside of time and fore-knows! It is not that God chooses those on a whim, but He knows flesh inside of time and then allows their free will to orchestrate His divine purpose. So when the Word says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart, it means that God chose this Pharaoh BECAUSE he "will" hardened his heart in that specific situation! God uses that fore-knowlege to show His glory within time. In the natural, the concepts of fate, predestination, and God's sovereignty "appear" to contradict justice and free agency. In the spiritual, they "define" it! Now re-read this Romans' passage with this infinite or eternal perspective!