In the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure. – Genesis 15:16
Have you ever thought you knew what God was up to, only to find out later that you weren’t even close? I have fallen into this trap many times and the realization has always been pretty humbling. Even when I have understood in part, rarely have I captured the whole of what the Sovereign was doing.
In the verse above, we catch a glimpse of one of the hidden reasons why God waited 400 years to free the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Of course, we all know God freed the Israelites to reveal His power over the Egyptian Gods. We also know that He did it to ultimately bring His Messiah into the world, but did you realize He also waited 400 years because it took four generations for the iniquity of the Amorites to reach its full measure? God, in His sovereignty, waited four generations … it appears … so that the complete judgment (eradication) of the Amorites would be justified by the absolute depth of their depravity. It seems God waited for the Israelites to reach full strength, freed them, then used them as His weapon of righteous retribution on an utterly wicked population.
God is always at work. The aims of His work may be understood in part, but rarely in full. We may, however, certainly understand the truth that all God’s ends are just and ultimately they are for His glory.
I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace. – Helen Keller
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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