Take things one day at a time, living in God’s graces
But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete. Genesis 15:16
An old friend of mine once made the statement, “after three days, relatives and fish begin to stink.” It’s always nice to see our family, but after they are at our house for an extended period of time, many of us are ready for a break from the pressure of things. Sometimes it’s a good idea to visit more often, but not stay as long.
When we consider the Israelites coming out of Egypt, many of their relatives were not really happy to see them. So exactly when did that take place? Genesis 15:13 says, “Your (Abraham’s) descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs. and will serve them four hundred years.” Verse 16 says, “But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
If we put a few facts together from these verses, it would seem that a generation was considered 100 years (400 years = 4 generations) at that time. The length of a generation has often changed because our life-span doesn’t stay the same. At this present time our life-span is considered three score and ten (seventy years).
After the great flood of Noah’s time, the aging process seemed to speed up, with the life-span of many things being altered. Without the canopy of ice crystals around the earth, many harmful rays of the sun were allowed to come through. The filter that protected the earth and gave it a green-house affect, was gone. Noah, who was born and lived mostly before the flood, lived to be 950 years old. He would have still been alive when Abraham was blessed by Melchizedeck, king of Salem. But Abraham, who was born and lived after the flood, only lived to be 175 years old.
The Bible seems to be saying that in the fourth generation (400 years) after Abraham, the Israelites would begin their exodus from Egypt and start their journey to the promised land (1441 BC). In four generations, many of Abrahams children would have greatly increased the size of their families. This would include: Ishmael, Isaac, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Midian’s sons would have been 1st cousins to Jacob and Esau.
So when Israel began the journey from Egypt to the land of Canaan, they were often fighting, or quarreling with their own cousins. It was like a family feud, with one side trying to annihilate the other at times. Moab, who was the son of Lot through his own daughter, joined with the Midianites (offspring of Abraham) to oppose the children of Israel.
The descendants of Esau also opposed the Israelites and did not leave them pass through their territory. In Exodus 17:8 it says, “Now Amalek (offspring of Esau) came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.” Not much has changed, the nation of Israel is still fighting with its cousins today in 2021.
Do you have some problems in your family? Then you must be close to normal. Try to take one day at a time, living each day by God’s Grace.