Tuesday, May 13, 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.
The God of the Bible is very orderly; He is organized and does not act on haphazard whims. On one hand, His justice demands that sin be punished in full, and His wrath inflicts a punishment to satisfy His offended righteousness (ultimately, everlasting hellfire, banished from His presence forever). On the other hand, His mercy, love, and grace provide a means so that the sinner can escape that wrath via substitutionary atonement (ultimately, the sinner can come by faith alone in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, where Christ suffered God’s wrath on our behalf, and be accepted of God). Whether operating in wrath or in grace, the God of the Bible is completely fair and wise in every deed.
Certain limits must be breached before God’s wrath falls on the sinner, and while only God Himself knows those parameters, the entire Bible’s canon demonstrates that this is how He deals with wicked humanity. For example, consider three major events of sin in the book of Genesis:
- God could have destroyed Adam and Eve immediately after they sinned; however, He responded to them in mercy and grace, seeking them while they hid from Him, and then killing animals to cover them physically with those skins, as well as clothe them spiritually with animals’ blood (a type of Jesus’ blood which was shed millennia later) (Genesis 3:21).
- Before the Great Flood of Noah’s Day, some 1,700 years after creation, God gave sinful mankind 120 years to straighten up (Genesis 6:3), and then His judgment came and swept them all away (excluding Noah and his family on the ark)!
- It was not until Sodom and Gomorrah had reached their limit of sin that God finally sent two angels to destroy those two wicked cities (Genesis 18:20,21; Genesis 19:13).
Let us continue skimming the Scriptures for other instances of the longsuffering, yea, the patience, of God…