The Bible records many people of faith from the time of Adam to Abraham. We recall Enoch, who walked with God and never died, and Noah, who received the covenant of the rainbow after the Flood, that God would never again cover the world with water. But that was a long time with no progress toward the end that the Glory of God would fill the earth. Then came Abraham. With him God made the covenant that he would be the father of a great nation and through his seed all the nations would be blessed. A nation needs land, laws and people. It would take more than four hundred years for this to take place. God waited a hundred years for the ark to be built, 100 years for people to repent. God does not judge on an immediate whim. His patience is graceful. God is in no hurry but he is steady. God gave Abraham the land as an eternal inheritance for his descendants. However, they would not enter the land “until the iniquity of the Amorites is complete.” (Gen. 15:16)God gives over 400 years for the Amorites to repent or have their sin completed for judgment. Then the Lord would give the land to Abraham’s descendants. While the land was promised, God lacked two things, people and law. The covenant was reaffirmed to Issac and Jacob and then Jacob’s twelve sons, the tribes of Israel. It was these persons that went to Egypt (a total of 72). They became slaves for 400 years. This was lost time; or was it? Well, it was time for the sin of the Amorites to be completed. Freedom allows people to wander as Abraham left Ur of the Chaldeans. Slavery was a way of keeping people together. Shared oppression also builds strong bonds. Abraham had left his heritage behind. He was the first Hebrew. Three generations later the 72 could have wandered away; not so in Egypt. There, God was building a people of common heritage of hardship and oppression, a heritage that has helped keep the people of Abraham unique to this day!
With the Exodus, Moses and laws of Sinai, the people had been prepared to enter the Land and become a nation. But the promise to Abraham was not yet fulfilled. There is a long way to go to glory.-- Ben