“As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years… In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure” — Genesis 15:12-16
First, God told Abraham he would make him into a great nation (Gen. 12:2), and then He withheld the birth of Isaac for twenty-five years. Then God told Abraham to “look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever” (Gen. 13:14-15), while in chapter 15 God tells Abraham his descendants would live as slaves in Egypt for four hundred years before they would come back and possess the land. I’ve discovered that reading the Bible is a bit like reading a spy novel; you really don’t know how all the pieces fit together until you’ve read the last chapter. Of course, the same thing could be about my life. I won’t really know how all the parts fit together until I’ve lived the final chapter.
This is what challenges me about Genesis 15—sometimes when I think I’ve missed God’s direction for my life, it turns out that God has factored in my detours. Furthermore, about the time I think my detours are a result of a sin, I often find they are God’s gift to prepare me for my promise. Continue Reading