Genesis 15:16 – “And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
What an incredible God we serve! As God was making his promises to Abram about his future, he throws in for us a statement that we easily overlook if we are not careful. God tells Abram that his descendants are going to go away for a while before being brought into the land of promise. Why? It is because the iniquity of the Amorites has not yet reached its full potential.
OK, stop and think about this for a moment. God knew that the Amorites were an evil people. He knew that they were sinning against him in great ways. He knew that they were not going to repent. Yet, instead of destroying them outright, he allowed them to sink further and further into their sin while he grew up the nation of Israel that would eventually be their destruction. God saw their sin, remembered their sin, and made provision for their destruction because of their sin.
What does this do to our concept of God? Hopefully, if we have a biblical understanding of who God is, this passage serves only to remind us of the holiness and the justice of God. Hopefully it reminds us of his sovereign rule over all things, events, people, and nations. Hopefully this little section reminds us of how seriously God takes all human sin, and how perfectly God will judge all sin.
In fact, one of my desires is that we will allow this passage to remind us of Jesus Christ. All human sin is to be judged by God. Either we will pay for our own sin by spending forever in hell, or our sin will be paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. He died as our substitute so that God did not destroy us when our iniquity reached its full measure. Let this passage not only remind you of the justice of God, but also let it remind you of the grace of God that is given to all believers in Jesus.