There are things in the Bible that if left unstudied can cause someone to be suspicious about the character and nature of God. These things can become stumbling blocks to faith or fuel for skepticism and unbelief. It’s important to thoughtfully tackle these things lest they become a seed for confusion. A major concern today (and throughout history) in the hearts and minds of skeptics and believers regarding the Bible is the question, "Why would God command the destruction of all those different people in the Old Testament?" Or, "If God is so good and loving, then how could He have ordered the total slaughter of certain groups of people in history?" These are great questions, and if someone is honestly open to hearing great answers to those questions, I believe this blog can help. There are plenty of better resources available on the web but I’ll add mine.
After engaging skeptics and unbelievers regarding these questions I was convinced I needed to study and share what I learned. The following is a summary of my notes from listening to a discussion between Greg Koukl and Clay Jones concerning this very topic, as well as reading through the Scriptures and reading articles on this issue. If you'd like to listen for yourself or follow up on this topic I would encourage you to visit the links at the bottom of the page. There you will find more details to fill in the gaps. Well, let’s get started.
Why did God order the killing of the Canaanites?
Isn’t it wonderful that God answers this very question Himself! We don’t have to wonder, assume or speculate. Without even having to look outside the Scriptures in order to address this situation, God Himself answers this question directly in the Bible.
Let’s first set the stage.
In the Book of Leviticus chapter 18, God commands His own people, the children or nation of Israel not to commit certain sins:
1-Adultery 2-Incest 3-Rape 4-Homosexuality 5-Bestiality 6-Etc.
It is because of these behaviors God says He judges nations. And without showing partiality God said He would also judge His own people, Israel if they did these things. Now God judges nations in a variety of ways, however His ultimate or final judgment against sin in this world is through death, both physical and spiritual. Following death each soul will stand before God in judgment and give account. In this blog we will deal primarily with judgment in this life, not the next. And so, you can read for yourself and see in Leviticus 18 that God warns His people not to commit the terrible acts of the pagan nations that He is finally going to judge. Here God is bringing judgment upon behavior, not nationality, race, or even belief systems. God promises to judge any nation that continues to commit these kinds of sinful behaviors, even if that nation is Israel, God's chosen people. God does not show partiality however He is very patient.
In Genesis chapter 18 God tells Abraham that He would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if there are 30 righteous people living in it. Through God's conversation with Abraham we learn that God would not even judge (or destroy) Sodom and Gomorrah if 10 righteous people lived there. And through this we see that God in His love and mercy would withhold judgment against a nation because of a few righteous people living there. In the story of Genesis 18 about Sodom and Gomorrah we read that the older men and younger boys did not want to repent of their sin but instead wanted to homosexually rape the 2 visiting angels that came as representatives of God. Homosexual behavior had become such a stronghold in Sodom and Gomorrah that the men of that community were now seeking to rape innocent visitors. God knows sin is a slippery slope.
Now here’s the key, don’t miss this. In Genesis 15:13-16 God tells us that He put His people in Egypt for 400 years until the sins of the Amorites had finally reached their full. Then and only then did God decide to bring judgment against them. We see God here as being 400 years patient and longsuffering with the sins of the pagan people before He finally brings judgment. And so the question might be asked, "Why did God order the killing of the Canaanites 400 years after they had committed these terrible sins?" God is very patient with the sins of all people.
And remember, we read in Leviticus 18 that God warns His own people that if they commit the abominations of the heathens, then the land itself will vomit them out too. This is figurative language for saying that if the land "vomits them out" then even nature is disgusted with their behavior. You know it can’t be good when you make the dirt sick enough to throw up. And in case you forget and think that God was just after those heathens remember that God showed no partiality with His own people, Israel, and promised that they too would be judged and removed from the land if they practiced the same abominable sins as the heathens. It is sin that brings judgment, not race, gender or age.
And so to summarize what we’ve learned so far:
1-God tells us Himself in the Bible why He slaughtered certain nations
2-We see that God is very patient, even 400 years patient, giving individuals and nations time to repent and turn away from sin
3- God brings judgment on sin and evil behavior, not race, gender, age or nationality.
4- God shows no partiality and promises to judge His own people should they commit the same sins and abominations.
This might give you some relief just having a little more understanding, but there are still questions that arise as we think about the literal “slaughter of thousands of people” and can’t help but wonder if that’s a bit extreme.
You might be saying to yourself, "But what was so wrong with those nations, I mean they had their own culture and traditions and ways of worshiping? What's wrong with that? Why is that an abomination when it's just their way of life?"
Well, let’s consider for a moment that a people's beliefs always affect their behavior, and you ultimately become like whatever you worship.
In ancient times the people of Canaan worshiped a god called "Molech." You can read about this on your own, but there is an ancient poem about this god Molech. It talks about a bull-headed god named Molech, who had a sister who was in the form of a cow, and he raped her 77 times, even 88 times, it says. This is very weird and graphic I know, but it makes a point. This is a poem about a “god” that they worshipped and revered! You see, just in this poem we have: 1-a pagan god (Molech) 2- rape (the god rapes) 3- incest (the god rapes his sister) 4- bestiality (the god and sister are half animal) 5- unrepentant continual rape, 77, even 88 times. This poem actually glorifies the abominations that God was strictly against and spoke about in Leviticus 18. Through further studies of the ancient god, Molech we can discover that the worshipers of Molech would actually offer their babies and children up to Molech by laying their kids upon a burning hot altar and watching them burn to death. Archaeology has revealed that they would burn alive kids up to four years old. What seems to be an unimaginable act of violence towards children was a so called "act of worship" for the people of Molech. The Bible refers to this abomination in Leviticus 18:21 as "allowing your sons and daughters to pass through the fires of Molech." And so we see that this was not some innocent pagan religion and custom, but a destructive pagan religion that idolized sin and behaviors that hurt people, destroyed families, and broke down communities. And God, having great love for all people is passionately against those beliefs and behaviors that end up destroying lives. He did not tolerate these sins among the pagan nations, and He did not tolerate them among His own people. We later read in the Bible that He eventually judged Israel when they backslid into these terrible sins and themselves burned their children on the altars of Molech. God loves kids.
Most of the Old Testament prophets are actually preaching against Israel and calling them to repent of their sins. Often we read of Israel backsliding into either dead religiosity or flat out pagan rebellion and idolatry.We read in Jeremiah 5:1 that God tells Jeremiah to walk throughout the streets of Jerusalem to see if he could find even 1 upright man who seeks the truth, a righteous person, and God said that if he (Jeremiah) could find one man that He wouldn't judge Jerusalem. Well, we know the outcome from the Bible and history; God brought destruction on Jerusalem and Israel because they had given themselves over to idolatry, hypocrisy, and the abominations of the pagan nations. But even in this situation God was patient and gave Israel a lot of time to turn and repent and they did not.
For God not to inflict pain against bad behavior would be like God removing our nervous system and allowing us to touch the hot burner on the stove over and over without ever feeling the pain. The pain is there to awaken us to having made a bad decision and to protect us from destroying ourselves. As difficult as it is to understand this, God's judgment against nations is His loving discipline in steering them away from behavior that is destructive, as well as His way of stopping that behavior from spreading to other nations. God loves people, He is patient, He sends warnings, He inflicts pain if the warnings go unheeded, and then He finally puts an end to it lest that sin influence and infect others.
Let's remember that God is not against "Pagan Races," He is against "Pagan Religions and Rebellion." We read throughout the Bible that God has a great love for all nations, that He is the Creator of all mankind, the God of over all nations, the King of kings, and if a pagan nation or pagan person turns from sin and trusts in Him then God honors them and preserves them. We see that played out especially in the story of Jonah. The story of Jonah is not primarily about a man being swallowed by a giant fish, but about a God who longs to show mercy and grace towards pagan nations who repent and put faith in Him. The Book of Jonah is really about the nation of Ninevah not being swallowed up by a Giant God. God was very longsuffering with the evil and sin of Ninevah. They repented at the warnings of Jonah and God withheld His judgment because of it.
We also see various examples of individuals like Rahab and Ruth who were natives of pagan nations and yet chose to put faith in the true God and join the people of God, and God honored them for it.
So, when it comes to God ordering the slaughter of these pagan nations it is directly connected to: 1-their sin had thoroughly affected their entire nation and was destroying lives from within 2-their sin had thoroughly offended God who had given them plenty of time to repent 3- rather than allowing them to grow and spread and contaminate other surrounding nations, God ordered their destruction 4-if they turned away from their sin then God extended mercy and did not judge them.
This is not about "genocide" or "ethnic cleansing," but rather a thorough judgment of God against unrepentant sinful behavior and a protection of the nation of Israel who would ultimately inherit that specific land. When God ordered the killing of any people it was always, without fail, directly connected to their sinful behavior, idolatry, and immorality. It was never connected to their particular race or ethnicity or even non-moral cultural practices or differences. And God never sent judgment against people simply for "not believing in Him" but for the accumulation of what their behavior had become. God is holy, and He judges sin and immorality. God is not a racist and therefore never judges a person based upon skin color or ethnicity. However, I will say, without apology, that if you do not believe in the one true Holy God of the Universe, you will inevitably engage in behavior that is offensive to God and destructive to yourself and others. Only by being in right relationship with the right God are we able to walk in ways that please God, bless others and are in our own best interest.
Yet, even with all that said there are still some loose ends and questions we can’t help but ask.
Why would God order the destruction of animals?
We all love animals. For most of us animals have an innocent and special place in our hearts. But for others, and thankfully the minority today, animals represent a twisted and perverted abuse of sexuality. As much as I'm not interested in talking about bestiality, it is important to the subject at hand. It's hard to believe that there have been cases in the past and present of humans having sexual relations with animals. Those who practice bestiality today are still "in the closet," but nevertheless, they are still there. Obviously this kind of behavior can be physically and emotionally damaging to people but, studies have also been done on the behaviors of animals who have had sex with people, and it is a terrible and scary thing. This kind perverted behavior does affect the behavior of animals involved. It should go without saying that the result of humans and animals having sex is never good. And the studies show that you do not want to be around an animal that is used to having sex with a person. They are aggressive and potentially violent. Why does this even matter? Well, perhaps this is a good reason why God commanded the animals of these grossly sinful nations to be destroyed as well. We know from reading all of Scripture that God loves animals. But just like people, when animals become twisted, perverted and a threat to others, it’s just a matter of time before God feels the need to do something about it. This is what took place in the ancient Old Testament times and land of Canaan. You see bestiality (sex with animals) had become a virtue in pagan cultures. Archaeology confirms this. Remember the poem about the bull-headed god, Molech we read about earlier? The merging of humans and animals physically and sexually is an ancient abomination. And God commanded the destruction of the animals as a judgment on pagan “un-civilizations” and a protection for Israel. You would not want your children, friends or pets to be around animals that had been used for sex or sexual acts of worship to false gods. Because these animals had been manipulated and used for human abominations they were no longer fit for normal use. And while it would have been impossible to interview each individual animal to see which ones had been molested by humans, God at times ordered their entire destruction.
Let’s not forget that God created the animals just like He created humans and plant life. We read in Genesis chapter 1 that God created animals even before He created man. God does care about animals, and we read about that specifically at the end of the Book of Jonah. In the very last verse of Jonah God tells us that it is His heart to extend mercy, not judgment to people and animals. We also read throughout God's Law that His people were not to abuse their animals but care for them responsibly. This is a major contrast from how pagan nations would handle their animals. God not only created animals but gives specific instruction in the Bible that we are to be good stewards of them, not abuse them and especially never have sex with them. It’s strange that God would even have to tell us not to do that, but He does. Perhaps He knows better than us how twisted people can become when they stray from God.
Ok, so I see how God could command destroying animals so that they don’t hurt others, kind of like shooting a rabid dog so that it doesn’t bite some children, but what about God commanding the destruction of children and women? Now that just doesn’t seem right. Let’s try to tackle that one.
Why would God order the destruction of women and children?
Let's begin with the women. First of all, God is no sexist. He shows no partiality and so the women of pagan nations were just as guilty as the men for the sins and abominations they practiced. We’ve already stated that God takes sin seriously. Just because someone is a women does not mean they automatically become less guilty or even innocent of sin. God holds both men and women responsible for their behavior. These women had participated in the abominations and sinful acts of pagan worship within these nations. They were not victims, but criminals as far as God was concerned, just like the men. God held the women responsible for their sin. These nations had become so sexualized that these women were lead participant in burning their children on the altars of Molech. Sexual sin among these women had become commonplace. And the result of sexual sin is unwanted children. And the place for unwanted children was the fiery burning altars of Molech. These women were guilty of burning their children on the altars of Molech as acts of worship along with other sinful behaviors. God was not going to take it easy on these women nor did He want them to live and have them influence His people, Israel in their evil practices.
In God's Law He warns His people, Israel not to take pagan wives from these communities because they will eventually lead their hearts astray. It’s a sad testimony when we actually read that this happened in the life of King Solomon. In 1 Kings 11:1-14 we read that Solomon had taken to himself many pagan wives of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites, and these women were his downfall. And because he was king, it was a downfall for the entire nation. These women led Solomon away from being loyal to God and he began to worship the false gods of the pagans, the god Ashtoreth and even the god Molech. Solomon was completely responsible for his own sin, and these women were also responsible for their sin. As a result God brought judgment against Solomon and the nation Israel. We see played out in the life of Solomon how a man can go from loving God to becoming addicted to pagan women and eventually worshipping their false gods, even the child burning god Molech. It’s worse than backsliding, and you can only imagine how upset God was about this. But let's not forget that there are examples in the Bible of pagan women, turning away from sin, leaving their pagan religions, putting faith in the true God, and being spared judgment. Rahab and Ruth are just two examples of this.
And so, why would God order the destruction of these pagan women alongside the men? Because the women were just as guilty as the men and deserving of God’s judgment. Should these women be left alive and incorporated into the nation of Israel they would have brought in all their sinful practices and idolatries. Let’s not forget how patient God was with them before He brought judgment, He was 400 years patient with both men and women. However, with all that said, God always left room for repentance and salvation to those who reached out to Him in truth.
So, we see how God can be firm with both men and women of pagan nations who abuse God’s patience and continue to commit terrible sins against God and one another, but what about children. The Bible actually says that God commanded the destruction of men, women, animals and children! Now this is hard to stomach.
Let's consider why God would order the destruction of children.
Having children myself I must say this is the one that on the surface poses the greatest emotional difficulty for me. A person’s love for their children or children in general naturally leads us to hate the thought of any child dying. To think that God could be both good and command the destruction of children seems instinctively contradictory. This is a difficult Bible dilemma. But it is in these very difficult Bible questions and dilemmas that we should, rather than ignoring them or assuming the worst about God, choose to seek out quality answers that are Biblically supported and consistent with the character and nature of God. There are hard questions that require us to dig a little deeper, control our knee-jerk emotions, and prayerfully and thoughtfully swim into the deep end of God’s revelation and the hard truths about history. Now, we do not want to make up an answer in an attempt to simply "defend" God, but rather investigate the Bible, history and culture to see if an honest study of the issues will shed greater light on the subject. Often times, our emotional distaste for something will paralyze us from moving forward and seeking good answers to hard questions. While I do not think that the answers I have acquired so far will completely eliminate the emotional struggle we all have with considering God's command to kill even the children, I do feel that these answers can bring us closer to understanding the big picture, rather than jumping to assumptions about the specifics. There are other ways of interpreting the information about this difficult subject. Some have considered the language to be hyperbole and not literal and others question the actual inspiration of the particular passages at hand. But I am committed to taking God at His word, especially if He takes the time to explain in His word why He would command such a difficult judgment. And we can also evaluate these “war time” situations practically to see if we can’t understand why God might choose to work a certain way.
So, why would God order the destruction of kids?
Well, let me ask you a question, “At what age would you choose to spare a kid? 18 years old? 12 years old? 10, 5, 3 years old?” At what age do we feel God should say, "Spare kids this age, but destroy kids this age?" That's not an easy question. And we know some kids grow up quicker than others and look more adult, act more adult and fight like adults. And some adults still look like kids. In the heat of a bloody battle at what age do you think you should spare the enemy’s children? These are tough things to think about. We might be inclined to say, "If you have to kill all the men, women and animals then at least spare ALL the kids." But in times of war things can't always be so cut and dry. Think about it, practically speaking, are the soldiers supposed to go around and ask each child their age to see if they're too young to be killed? In war-time, that is not going to happen no matter how much we would want it to. Not to mention that often times the kids were employed in battle and fought like men. The kids were soldiers too. The soldiers of Israel were to go in and fight, not interview kids. Remember, God used these wars to judge nations for their sin, and His judgment was often swift, bloody and thorough. After patiently giving these nations time to repent He then sent in judgment to clear out the people, animals and even burn up the idols leaving little or no hint of their abominable pagan practices to influence others.
Something else we need to remember is that when it comes to judging a nation for its sin, we must remember that even the kids were caught up in a pagan culture that practiced all kinds of abominations from adultery, to rape, to incest, to homosexuality, to bestiality, and the worship of false gods. These kids were officially programmed by their culture even in their adolescence to believe and behave in ways that are totally offensive to God. Remember the story from Genesis, how even the young boys alongside the older men wanted to rape the angelic visitors? Those kids had been immorally indoctrinated by an evil culture and as a result both young and old were guilty before God and deserving judgment. I know from personal experience that I have committed many of my worst sins in my youth and teens. From 13 years old up into my twenties there was nothing "innocent" about my beliefs or behaviors. As a matter of fact, my behavior then was extremely destructive to myself as well as others. As a 15 year old I was already capable of practicing great evil, and if left unrestrained who knows how much harm I would've caused. Youth are not innocent when it comes to being guilty of sin. Youth are often the first to indulge in it and promote it.
God was not only judging these pagans but wanting to protect His people from being infiltrated, influenced and infected with idolatry and immorality.
I've heard from those who have adopted children that even at the age of 4, 5, and 6 years old, an adopted or foster child brings their culture with them into their new family. And so, the pagan kids of the Canaanites, even by the age of 4 and 5 years old may have already been molested or abused sexually, and therefore have been highly sexualized by their pagan culture and communities. As a result they are most likely to repeat the same behaviors to their children, siblings or others in the community. It is often those who have been molested or sexually violated that molest and violate others. This is how a community and culture dissolves over time. Sinful practices are passed down from generation to generation as children just repeat what was done to them. So why not have the Jews adopt those pagan kids rather than destroy them? Well, if some traditional God fearing Jewish family were to bring into their home a pagan child, or children who had been sexualized, molested and exposed to bestiality and idolatry, what kind of influence do you think that child might bring into the community of Israel. Or, what would that child’s “teenage rebellious phase” look like after they find out that their adopted parents killed their national people, their natural parents and even their pets? These pagan kids, if left spared and incorporated into Israel would have resented Israel completely and eventually rebelled. It is natural for kids to want to return to the "roots and traditions" of their natural parents. Its possible that the children would eventually rise up and avenge the death of their parents just perpetuating a cycle of violence. As uncaring as it may sound, the inclusion of kids who have been warped by the worship of pagan gods, sexual abominations and rebellion, into the community of Israel would put the nation of Israel in jeopardy of being infected from within. This would not only damage God's plan for the people of Israel at the time, but could potentially destroy His long term plans for maintaining the prophetic lineage of the Messiah who would ultimately offer forgiveness and redemption to the entire world, every nation, and every tribe and tongue. God always has His big picture plan in mind in every decision He makes. This is speculation, but perhaps from God's perspective, killing every man, woman, child and animal was God's means of thoroughly eradicating a grotesquely sinful culture, while at the same time protecting other men, women, children and animals. Perhaps God was keeping the children and animals of Israel from eventually being molested by ordering the destruction of the pagan kids along with the pagan adults and animals. Here God’s judgment is also His mercy.
Now, I know what you're thinking, "Wait, it’s not God's heart to kill kids who have been abused, but rather to adopt them and assist them in overcoming their abuse through love and truth, through Christ!" This is absolutely true. God does have a special heart for orphans. And perhaps this is why in every single case God did not order the complete annihilation of all the people conquered, but in certain cases made provisions for them to be cared for or even taken as servants rather than killed. God is omniscient (all knowing) and perfectly understood each situation, nation and every individual involved and therefore His judgment was not exactly the same every time. We can read about God's loving heart for pagan children in the Book of Jonah when the final verse of the book says that God is looking to extend His pity, not His wrath, toward more than 120,000 kids who don't know their right hand from their left, and even spare the animals. I hope you catch this. You see God desired to save the pagan children of Nineveh through the preaching of Jonah, but He did not change His conditions, standards, or requirements for their salvation. The people of Nineveh needed to repent and turn from their evil in order to be spared, which they did. However, had they refused to repent, God would have destroyed all adults, children and animals.
In regard to the killing of pagan children it is important to remember that this blog is addressing the issue of God commanding the Israelites to kill the men, women, children and animals of the unrepentant pagan nations that inhabited the land of Canaan at that time. What God commanded Israel to do to the Canaanites thousands of years ago is not what God has commanded Christians today to do. God had a purpose for Israel and establishing them in the land of Canaan. The development and establishment of the nation of Israel played a vital part in bringing Jesus into the world at the appointed time. Now that Christ has come God has commanded His followers to go out into the world to reflect God’s heart towards all people, to bring the message of salvation to them and not judgment upon them. Christianity therefore brings the message of Christ not a military conquest.
Another important detail to remember is that God’s command for Israel to bring destruction to the Hittites, Ammonites, and Canaanites was a localized mission and not a global mission. The pagan communities that lived within the region of Canaan that God was giving to Israel were to be wiped out because of their sin, but Israel was not commanded to go to war against pagan nations outside of those boundaries and out into other parts of the world. This was not a “holy-war” being declared upon the whole world, but rather a localized judgment against unrepentant nations who were occupying land that God had promised to the descendants of Abraham for a specific purpose. God was strategically placing the nation of Israel centrally in the world and specifically at the junction of intersecting trade routes in order for Israel to be a light and witness to all nations that the God of Israel is the One true God and Creator of heaven and earth. Through their witness and character the world would be able to see what God was like in contrast to the multitudes of pagan gods and idols.
As we conclude, let us remember that God Himself is the Author, Creator, and Sustainer of life and therefore He has every right to bring life into this world, or remove life from it. This grinds upon us because we internally feel as though we have some "right" to live, even after having sinned against God as many times as we have. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death, and so for us to live another day or continue to live years is not our entitlement, but God's mercy.
The great Flood recorded in the Book of Genesis came upon the earth because the wickedness of mankind had become so great that God destroyed every single person on the planet except for 8 people; Noah, his wife, his 3 sons and their wives. And even then God cared about the animals enough to preserve at least 2 of each kind. God brought judgment and salvation simultaneously; judgment upon sin men and salvation to a man of faith and his family.
In Genesis chapter 3 through the sin of Adam and Eve, God sentences the entire human race to death, young and old. We are born into a world of death. This is our reality.
In Luke chapter 13 Jesus was confronted about the way some people had died and He responds to the problem of sin and death. He basically said, everyone is going to die, and He didn't argue that some were worse sinners than others, but that all will die regardless. You see, we think everyone has the "right" to live out a long life and die in their sleep at the age of 80 years old. But in Genesis 3 God sends a curse upon the world, upon people, animals and the land, and so now we have cancer, bacteria and diseases, volcanoes, violence, etc. Adam was the head of the human race when he sinned, and all of us, being yet unborn within the DNA of Adam, sinned with him and receive the same consequence as though it was us who had sinned in the Garden. And if it offends you that Adam was your spokesman before God through his act of disobedience, and you don't like being declared a sinner because of something you didn't do, then you should also be offended at the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You see, the Bible declares in Romans 5 that through the righteous act of one Man, Jesus Christ, God can now declare those who identify with Him as saved, forgiven and righteous in His sight. We were declared sinners through no act of our own, and we are declared righteous through no act of our own, but by faith in Jesus Christ. This is offensive to those who do not believe and a wonderful truth and hope to those who do believe. We were born in sin through our identification with Adam and therefore we choose to sin personally. And we are reborn through our identification with Jesus and therefore we choose to walk in righteousness personally.
It could be that we do not understand nor hate sin enough to see how God's order to destroy the Canaanites, or even us for our own sin, is completely and totally consistent with the character of a holy, loving and good God.
For the person who is not a follower of Jesus Christ, who is not saved, and does not have eternal life I say this to you, "It is easy to understand why you insist on preserving your life here in this world, because you have a fear of death. This life in this world is all you have and apart from receiving Jesus Christ and being born again you have no hope for the next world or the next life. Right now this is the only heaven you know and the clock is ticking before God's judgment is going to come upon your sin, and the destruction is eternal. Please sincerely turn from your sin and trust in Jesus and God will spare you. Even though you will eventually die in this world, should the Lord delay His second coming, you will still live for eternity."
But for the believer, the Christian, the follower of Christ, we should realize that most of our problems stem from not understanding 2 things: 1-the sinfulness of humanity and ourselves 2- the glories that await the children of God. We commit a double sin when we deny our own sinfulness and forget God's goodness. God is preparing us to rule and reign with Him for eternity. This world is not our final destination or our only hope. And God in His wisdom uses a world of suffering to prepare His kids to reign forever in eternity.
Let’s close with a quick summary of the territory we’ve covered in trying to answer the question, “Why did God order the killing of the Canaanites?”
1-God answers this question Himself in the Scriptures. Genesis 15:13-16 & Leviticus 18
2-God brings judgment against sin, not race, gender, age or nationality
3-God shows no partiality and promises the same judgment against His own people Israel should they commit the same sins
4-God never brought judgment without offering the opportunity for repentance and salvation
5-God is extremely patient and even waited 400 years before bringing His judgment against the Canaanites.
6-God brings His judgment against the entire nation, men, women, children and animals in order to eradicate the sinful behavior and protect others from being infected with gross idolatry.
7-God’s word gives us examples of individuals and nations repenting and turning from sin at the warnings of God and as a result God withholds His judgment and instead extend mercy.
8-God has demonstrated His love for all people by providing a Savior for the entire world in Jesus Christ.
9-God is the Author of life and can give and take life at His will without having to explain Himself.
10-God is serious about sin and we should be too.
For a more scholarly and detailed discussion/articles about these topics go to:
Apologetics 315 Interview with Paul Copan, Author of "Is God a Moral Monster?"
Some other blogs I've written that may be of interest:
The Dishonest Skeptic
Do you take the Bible literally?
F.A.C.E.S.M.A.P. "Evidence the Bible is Trustworthy"
Some other blogs I've written that may be of interest:
The Dishonest Skeptic
Do you take the Bible literally?
F.A.C.E.S.M.A.P. "Evidence the Bible is Trustworthy"