Monday, May 12, 2014
“But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:16 KJV).
Today’s Scripture expressly declares why the God of the Bible “takes His time” when dealing with sinful mankind.
“Where is the promise of Jesus Christ’s coming?” From believers still asking in faith (cf. Matthew 24:3) to scoffers still asking in ridicule (cf. 2 Peter 3:3,4), it has been queried ad nauseam. How sad a commentary—it is one of many questions to which the Bible already gave answers many, many centuries ago!
In the context of today’s Scripture, Abram—whom God will rename “Abraham” in chapter 17—is nomadic, travelling and camping throughout the land of Canaan, the Promised Land, much of today’s Middle East. Here, JEHOVAH God personally and formally deeded that real estate to Abraham and his descendants, the nation Israel, as an everlasting possession (Genesis 15:1-21; cf. Genesis 17:8).
Moreover, God informs Abram of the future: “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (verses 13-16, today’s Scripture within its immediate context).
God tells Abram that his seed, the nation that will come from his bowels, cannot inherit and dwell in the Promised Land yet. Israel must spend 400 years down in Egypt, most of that time in slavery. Entering Egypt as a tribe of less than 100 people, Israel will return to Canaan (the Promised Land) as a nation of some two million! Why this four-century delay? God’s Word could not be plainer—the original inhabitants of Canaan had not sinned enough yet for Him to displace them and install the Jews (today’s Scripture).
How patient is our God….