Summary “What right do the Israelites have to kill the indigenous Canaanite population in order to occupy their land?” March 24, 2019

For perspective on this remember that God’s thoughts and ways are much higher than and beyond our thoughts and ways, Isaiah 55:8-9. God covenanted with Abraham to make him into a great nation and to give him the land of Canaan, Genesis 17:4-8.

  1. A fundamental Bible teaching is that God is the Creator of all things and therefore he owns all the land, Exodus 19:5-6. He can allocate the land as He desires.
  2. Furthermore, God is just and He judges all people sooner or later for their actions. For example, Egypt was judged by God, Exodus 12:12; Numbers 33:3-4. The people of Canaan were also being judged by God, Numbers 33:51-52; Leviticus 18:21. They worshiped the false god Molek/Moloch that involved child sacrifice and prostitution! God used the Israelites as a means of bringing judgement on the Canaanites for their idol worship, sin and cruelty.
  3. This is a unique, one-time, situation of God setting the Israelites apart from all other nations. In setting them apart they were to worship no other God. If the Canaanites weren’t destroyed they would lead the Israelites away from worshiping the true God, Deuteronomy 7:3-6. This is in fact what happened, Numbers 25:1-3.
  4. The application of God’s command allowed for exceptions, particularly if they professed faith in Israel’s God. Rahab and her family are an example, Joshua 2:9, and the Gibeonites are another example, Joshua 9:1-27, 11:19. There was provision for even the Canaanites to turn to the true God!

How are we to face difficult circumstances and insurmountable odds? People commonly say, “God doesn’t give us more that we can handle.” This is simply not true. We often face challenges that are beyond us, like the Israelite’s faced the challenge of conquering the land of Canaan, Numbers 13:28-29, 31-33. It’s dangerous comparing your circumstances to human strength and ability alone. When God is factored into your circumstances everything can change, Numbers 13:30; 14:8-9. This doesn’t ignore the difficulties with casual optimism. The key is knowing minimize the dangers, but it looks beyond them to God. When fear knocks, answer it with faith.” Our Daily Bread. 8-20-16. Always factor God into every challenge that you face!