About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Sin Of The Amorites
I heard someone recently
wonder why God hasn't yet put an end to all the evil in the world.
I believe the Bible, at least in part, speaks to this issue.
When Jesus spoke about
the end of this age in Matthew 24 He said that wars "must
happen". (Matthew 24:6) Why
did He use the words "must happen"?
Was He just stating the inevitable in a fallen world or is there
more to His words than what meets the eye?
In Revelation 6: 9 – 11
the souls of those who had been executed for their association with
Jesus wonder about such things too.
They cry out to God. "How
long Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of
the earth and avenge our blood"? They
seem confused to why the Sovereign, holy, and true Lord, was taking so
long to administer justice to those who executed them.
In Revelation 20:7 satan
is released from prison after Jesus has ruled over the nations of the
earth for a thousand years. Why
does satan have to be released, especially after a thousand years of
relative peace and stability on earth?
You know that after being imprisoned that long satan will plunge
the world into the most unimaginable evil yet.
There are other Scripture
passages that I could bring to your attention that speak to the
persistence of evil on earth. So
the question remains, "why is it taking the Sovereign Lord so long
to put an end to this evil mess"?
I believe Genesis 15:16
begins to answer this question. In
this verse we note that God wouldn't allow Israelis to return to their
homeland until four generations had past.
The reason for this delayed return clues us in on why God allows
evil to continue with little restraint. Israelis
weren't allowed to return to their homeland because "the sin of the
Amorites has not yet reached its full measure".
I won't involve you with the history of the Amorites, but it's
obvious from this verse that the Amorites "had to" become more
sinful. Four generations of
accumulated Amorite sin had to pile up until their sin reached its full
measure determined by God. Only
then would God step into humanity and deal with the Amorites. Only
then were Israelis free to return to their land.
It's clear to me that in
the sovereign mind of God that He has set a limit to how evil man will
become. As a matter of fact,
He has set many limits for man. For
example, He has "marked out man's appointed times in history and
the boundaries of their lands". (Acts 17:26)
Whether as individuals or as nations, when it comes to evil, once
God's predetermined measure of evil has been reached, He will intervene.
He will step into humanity and bring the evil doers down as
history has shown us over and over again with the rise and fall of one
nation after another.
The righteous souls under
the altar in Revelation 6 seem perplexed and bewildered over the
apparent delay of justice. They
were told to "wait a little longer, until the number of their
fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was
complete". (Revelation 6:11) There
are a predetermined number of believers who will be martyred for their
association with Jesus. Only
when the last Christian is killed will the blood of the martyrs be
Romans 11:25 speaks to
God's limits as well, although on a different subject.
The apostle Paul tells us that only after the "full number
of Gentiles" gives their lives to Jesus will Israel's blindness be removed from her eyes.
I'm not a full fledged
Calvinist, but I do believe that the Sovereign God has set certain
limits on the activity of man, and that includes how evil we become.
It's obvious that man has to become more evil than what he
presently is. That may not
be the most positive statement, but when our sin reaches its full
measure; our God will step into humanity and bring a positive end to all
this evil mess.
You may not agree with my
explanation. It doesn't
answer all our questions. It
probably raises more questions, like; to what degree has God
predetermined the fate of man? Or,
who will be the last Gentile to hand his life over to Jesus?
How about, who will commit the last sin that will push man over
the limit, and what will that last sin be?
I'll let you figure those things out for yourself.