“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had left him, Lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15 For all the land which you see I will give to you and to your posterity forever. 16 And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if a man could count the dust of the earth, then could your descendants also be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the land, the length of it and the breadth of it, for I will give it to you. Genesis 13:14-17 AMP
When God chose Abram and set him aside, bringing him out of his own land and away from his family, he brought him to the land of Canaan. God told him to look north, south, east and west because He had already given all this land to him and his posterity – his descendants. God made acovenant promise to give this land to Abram and his posterity.
When the sun was setting, a deep sleep overcame Abram, and a horror (a terror, a shuddering fear) of great darkness assailed and oppressed him. 13 And [God] said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs [Egypt], and they will be slaves there and will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years. 14 But I will bring judgment on that nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 And you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old (hoary) age. 16 And in the fourth generation they [your descendants] shall come back here [to Canaan] again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete. Genesis 15:12-16 AMP
God prophesied to Abram about events that would take place for hundreds of years after his death – his descendants would not go straight into Canaan, but they would take a little detour. Before the time came to go in and possess the land, they would multiply in number, they would become slaves, God would judge the nation who oppressed them, He would bring them out with great possessions and in the fourth generation they would come back to Canaan again.
He says something significant at this time – Abram’s descendants had to wait a while before they went in to take possession of their promised land because “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete.”
Know therefore this day that the Lord your God is He Who goes over before you as a devouring fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall dispossess them and make them perish quickly, as the Lord has promised you. 4 Do not say in your [mind and] heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out from before you, It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land–whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you. 5 Not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your [minds and] hearts do you go to possess their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out before you, and that He may fulfill the promise which the Lord swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6Know therefore that the Lord your God does not give you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a hard and stubborn people. 7[Earnestly] remember and forget not how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day you left the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord. Deuteronomy 9:3-7 AMP
God did not drive all these nations out before Israel because Israel was righteous and upright – because they were hard, stubborn and rebellious – He drove these nations out because of their own wickedness and because of His covenant promise to Abram. God drove the Amorites out because their iniquity was now full and complete!
What can we learn from this? The Word of God says that He rains on the just and the unjust. God loves every man and every woman from every nation. There is not one nation better than another. He gives every one of us an opportunity to choose righteousness and be blessed or to choose unrighteousness and be cursed. Every one of us, as individuals and as nations and peoples, must humble our hearts before the Lord. We must realize that He has a plan for our lives and He has awesome things prepared for every one of us – blessings that exceed our expectations – if we will submit ourselves to Him and allow Him to direct our path and lead us in the way.
God’s blessing does not come from your own hand or worthiness, but it comes by His grace as we exalt Him in our lives, as we give Him place and as we stand on the promises He has made.