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The 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 avenged.      


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.  As Israel would return to their promised land once the sin of the Amorites reached its full measure, so all Israel will be saved once the last Gentile hands his life over to Jesus.  


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.   


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