Wednesday, May 14, 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.
- Through the Prophet Jonah, JEHOVAH warned wicked Assyrian capital city Nineveh that His judgment was coming in 40 days; Nineveh quickly repented, changed their behavior, and God postponed His wrath (Jonah 3:4-10). (Historically, during the next few centuries, Nineveh returned to its wickedness. It took a long time, but God’s wrath came—the Babylonians and others invaded and overthrew it!)
- For 200 years, JEHOVAH tolerated the sins of the kings of Israel (the northern kingdom). Jeroboam, the northern kingdom’s first king, introduced false idols (pagan religion) into Israel’s land. From 1 Kings 12:26 to 2 Kings 17:18, some 16 of the 20 kings of the northern kingdom led “God’s people” to worship heathen idols! As per the Mosaic Covenant (Leviticus 26:27-39), this progressively worse behavior of Israel caused JEHOVAH to allow the Assyrians to defeat, capture, and deport the northern kingdom to Assyria circa 722 B.C. (2 Kings 17:6-23).
- JEHOVAH, for 300 years, tolerated the sins of the kings of Judah (the southern kingdom). Unlike the northern kingdom, Judah had JEHOVAH’S Temple (in Jerusalem), so there was less apostasy there; however, pagan idolatry gradually infiltrated the southern kingdom. God was bound by His Word to chastise them just as He had judged their northern counterpart (Leviticus 26:27-39). From 606 to 586 B.C., JEHOVAH permitted the Babylonians to defeat, capture, and deport the southern kingdom to Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:5-21; Jeremiah 52:1-34).
When godly kings arose, or when wicked kings reformed, God delayed the Jews’ punishment for their sakes (1 Kings 21:25-29; 2 Kings 8:17-19; 2 Kings 22:15-20). Finally, however, there came a time when JEHOVAH instructed the Prophet Jeremiah not to pray for Israel, for He would not listen to intercessory prayer for Israel (7:16). A closing verse of 2 Chronicles summarizes, “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy” (36:16).
God had finally had enough….