The Iniquity of the Amorites

In Genesis 15: 16, Abram is told by God that “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full”. What this means is that the Amorites (who were then in possession of Canaan) had not yet developed in wickedness and evil as much as they had later when Jehovah used Abram’s descendants to cleanse the land. Some of Abram’s allies were Amorites (see Gen. 14: 13, 24), but when the children of Israel arrived in their inheritance centuries later, the divine instruction was to “save alive nothing that breatheth” and to “utterly devote … to destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites” (Deut. 20: 16, 17). Now there is, I believe, something of a parallel between the iniquity of the Amorites and the state of this world, and the point at which God will intervene with the judgment He has foretold. Is it the case, that the iniquity of this world is not yet full, or are we approaching that moment when God will finally act?

   By way of comparison with what is around us, it may be as well to remind ourselves of the abominations for which the Amorites forfeited the land: “When thou art come into the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you he that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, that uses divination, that useth auguries, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or one that inquireth of a spirit of Python, or a soothsayer, or one that consulteth the dead. For everyone that doeth these things is an abomination to Jehovah, and because of these abominations Jehovah thy God doth dispossess them from before thee” (Deut. 18: 9-12). Again, in Leviticus 18, Jehovah details the immoralities that “the nations which I am casting out before you made themselves unclean” (v24), including incest (see vs. 6-18), adultery (see v20), homosexuality (see v22) and bestiality (see v23).

   It is sobering to consider that this world (and western culture in particular) has embraced much of what is described—but it should not surprise us for the Bible describes a moral collapse in the last days (see 2 Tim. 3: 1-5). Now we need to be sober as to the moral trajectory of things around us but let us not be occupied with the progress of evil. Our proper occupation lies in another Man in another world.