Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Timing is Everything

"But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again. For the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full" Gen. 15:16

Having received the promise of a long-desired child, God gave Abram a peek into his descendant's future - slavery for an extended period of time. An factor determining the length of their captivity was the condition of a foreign people-the Amorites.

The Amorites occupied a portion of the land destined to be Israel's inheritance. Off-spring of Cain, they were on par with their pagan neighbors, neither no better nor no worse. Why should their sinful behavior delay the Jews release from Egypt?

The Bible is silent on this point. Why God singled the Amorites out from everyone else isn't explained. His reasoning and timing often leaves us baffled and scratching our heads.

Because God never makes a mistake. We can conclude that certain things needed to be in place before Israel would be ready for freedom and these elements were time sensitive. God knew which generation was the right one and the best equipped to leave. Moses' birth was timed perfectly for him to be floating on the river just as Pharaoh's daughter came to bathe. God knew which Pharaoh had to be in power when it came time for the exodus. Joshua and Caleb had to be at the right age to qualify as spies to search out the land and bring back the good report. They also had to be in place when the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land in order to set an example of how to fearlessly drive out the inhabitants.

Despite his failings, Aaron had to be alive in order to be Moses' spokesman and the first High Priest. Rahab, the harlot of Jericho needed to be there and open for business in order to hide the spies. In doing so she saved her family and became part of the ancestry of Jesus.

Would God allow an unrighteous nation to flourish at the expense of His people? It appears He will. Suppose what was happening here was God extending a period of grace to the Amorites to repent and be ready to turn to Him when Israel arrived? How different would history have been if they did?

God's plans often contain elements we don't understand. Things aren't always skewed in our favor - at times it's the exact opposite. Does this mean that we are somehow to blame. Not all the time.

What's important is our reaction to unfair and unjust treatment. If we think He's hung us out to dry, will we still passionately pursue Him?

How about you? What in your life is beyond your control? Where does God seem indifferent or acting grossly unfair concerning your situation? Ideally, what should your response be? What changes can you make so that your actions mirror what you know is right?

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