But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full, Genesis 15:16.
Any casual observor who kept track of the lives and fortunes of both Esau and of Jacob, and who also followed the next 3 generations of each of those two men, would be tempted to believe that Easu received the greater blessing. While Jacob labored 14 years for his two wives, and while he labored for at least 6 years longer, Esau was apparently garnering great wealth for himself while having the luxury of living near home and with access to both of his parents.
For the next 400 years, Esau and his decendants would be free to build a great nation. During that 400 years, Israel would be bondservants to the Egyptians, suffering under forced labor and attempted genocide as Pharaoh sought to kill all of the male babies.
As the old preacher RG Lee so often preached in his classic sermon Payday Someday; God doesn't always pay on Friday. For each and every person, and for each and every nation, there is a clock ticking. God, and only God knows the time that he has given to each and every person, to each and every nation, and to each and every situation. In the case of Abraham's decendants he declared his intentions; And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years, Genesis 15:13.
The iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full. During Abraham's time there were still nations and individuals who believed and followed the covenant that God had made with Noah.
Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Genesis 9:2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
Genesis 9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
Gen 9:4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
Genesis 9:5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Genesis 9:7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
Genesis 9:8 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
Genesis 9:9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
Genesis 9:10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
Genesis 9:11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
Genesis 9:12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
Genesis 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
Genesis 9:14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
Genesis 9:15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Genesis 9:16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Genesis 9:17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
Genesis 9:18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
Genesis 9:19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
When King Abimelech had put Sarah in his harem, the Lord warned him that he was a dead man because of it. Abimelech who had not yet touched her asked; wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?, Genesis 20:4. The Lord accepted that they were a righteous nation. He told Abimelech, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her, Vs.6.
Keep in mind that Noah lived for 350 years after the flood. His sons also lived long lives. It would have been almost impossible for a person in those days not to have known of the flood and the heavy hand of God upon the world. We can see evidences of the flood throughout the world today but 5000 years ago, the evidences would have been far more profound and obvious.
Truly this was a time such as described by the Apostle Paul said;
Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Romans 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
As time went on, the nations of the world, one by one, began to shut off the knowledge of God. They were turning off the lights. By the time that Moses left Egypt to dwell in Midian, there was but one nation left that had even a flickering light. We know that even the High Priest of Midian was no longer convinced of the promises of God. When he came to see Moses after Israel came forth from Egypt, and after he had heard of the mighty works of God, he said; Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, Exodus18:11.
Jethro had not been sure that the God of Noah and his covenant was above all Gods. The iniquity of the Amorites was full. God could look down upon the earth and see two things clearly, the world had turned off the lights and had forgotten God, and the Children of Israel groaned under hard bondage.
We know what God did. He divided the sea by his power. He brought Israel out with a mighty hand. He made a covenant with Israel. He gave them his laws. He made them to be a mighty nation of prophets, priests and kings. He ordered their manner of living after the order of the heavens. He commited his word to their keeping. Payday someday, he made Jacob great. He made Israel to be a prince of nations.
As trumpets sounded in Sinai, all of the principalities and powers in heavenly places could see that God had carved out a people unto himself. The very devils who had rejoiced as the light of God's promises had been slowly snuffed out for 400 years, could now see that the God of Israel is the true God and that his promises can not be broken. As Jesus Christ said to the Jews who sat at his feet, Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid, Matthew 5:14.
As much as I know that I am alive, and as much as I know that I live on this earth, I know that the promises of God are true. I know that God is not done with the Jews. I know that he will build his temple and that Israel will be his people in an everlasting kingdom. I know that I shall be resurrected in those days and will serve God as a servant of Jesus Christ.
I do not pretend that modern Israel is a fullfillment of God's promise to raise up their nation. Instead I see modern Israel as a proof of the goodness of God to those descendants of their fathers, and his blessing upon those who form Western style governments, and who establish honest and good government wherein men's consciences can be free to serve God as they please, and law is administered justly.
The modern nation of Israel is slandered by those who hate her. Just as American history is now taught by colonoscopy wherein each era is taught by highlighting its failures and ugliness, and just as modern students are not taught how that the laws and system of Government in the United States have allowed the people themselves to slowly right great wrongs, Israel is defined by its enemies with outright lies and by distortions of every misdead and mistake of the last 80 years.
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived, 2nd Timothy 3:13. The world is not getting better. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold, Matthew 24:12.
Concerning Luke 17:1; Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!; Peter Ruckman wisely taught that offenses will come, but they don't have to come through you. Keep the lights on. Believe your King James Bible. Teach it to your children. Teach it to your neighbor. Teach it to whosoever will listen. Payday some day, believe and trust the promises of God. Not one of them shall fail.