The Lord tells Abram that his seed shall be strangers and slaves in a land that is not their own, but then the Lord would judge the nation whom they would serve and in the fourth generation they shall return to where he is, in the land that would be Abram’s, that the Lord was going to give him, for the iniquity of the Amorites (one of the people groups whose land would be given to Abram) is not yet full.
This statement of the Lord makes us want to try to answer two questions –
First, what is the iniquity of the Amorites?
Second, what does it mean that the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full?
First, by looking at another passage in the Scripture, we can deduce that the iniquity of the Amorites was predominantly idolatry, for when the evil king Ahab is described in 1 Kings 21:26, he is likened to the Amorites for their idolatry. Second, the rampancy of sin (of idolatry) had not yet reached its full, during the time of Abram and so the Lord tarries for not one, but for four generations, before bringing his judgment on the Amorites and other pagan nations that worshipped and followed other false gods. In fact, close scrutiny of this, gives us insight into the longsuffering nature of The Lord, who waits patiently for his people to return to him, not wanting anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9).
Points to ponder:
What are your idols? Is it your family, your job, your possessions … what is it? Let us not be likened to the sin that displeases God as was Ahab. God is a Loving yet he is a Just God and his judgments are timely … never too early and never too late. He is patient with each one of us, but a time will come when his longsuffering and loving nature would give way for his just nature and he would judge all who choose not to follow and worship him alone, violating his commandment of having “no other gods before him.” (Exodus 20:3). A time is coming, when the antichrist shall come upon the earth and sin shall have reached its full – let us watch out for God’s judgment may then fall on mankind.
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.