RULE #5: GOD'S PATIENCE WITH WICKED NATIONS HAS A LIMIT.
Although God is a perfect Being in every way, this does not mean that His patience is limitless. His patience does indeed have a breaking point. God is very tolerant as He waits for people and nations to repent, as II Peter 3:9 teaches - "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." God wants individuals and nations to be right with Him, but eventually He gives up on them if repentance is not forthcoming. We learn from the Scriptures that nations can fill up their "cup of iniquity"; they can reach a point where their sins are overflowing in God's eyes.
We read Genesis 15:13,14 yesterday where God promised that Abraham's descendents would be in bondage but would eventually be delivered. In verse 16, we see that God promised - "In the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." God fully intended to punish the Amorites for their wickedness, but, at that point in time, their sins were not yet full. That is, at that moment historically, God was still patient with them, but, being omniscient, He ultimately knew that they would continue to digress from the ways of righteousness. God knew that eventually the Amorites would be so corrupt that He would have to punish them.
What sins were the Amorites guilty of committing? What were the sins by which they were "filling their cup" and causing God to lose His patience? Read Leviticus 18 and you will see the sins of which the people of Canaan and Egypt were guilty--fornication, incest, uncleanness, adultery, sacrificing their children, homosexuality, bestiality, etc. Immediately after listing all of these sins, God made the following statement to the Israelites - "Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants" (Lev. 18:24,25).
Now, let's think about that point. If God cast the Amorites out of their land for these sins in Old Testament times, can He not do the same to nations today in New Testament times? It grieves me to say this, but it seems that many in America are working diligently to fill up this country's cup of iniquity! Who can deny that the USA is committing the same sins the Amorites were? This nation is guilty of fornication, incest, immorality, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and don't forget the sacrificing of our children via abortion! The Amorites slew their children for their man-made gods; Americans slay their children to the gods of convenience and irresponsibility when they abort living souls. We are committing the same sins the Canaanites did; why shouldn't God judge us and punish us also? His patience is not infinite!
What can individuals do if they are concerned about the general direction their country is taking? We'll answer that question tomorrow as we conclude this series of lessons.