Program #301 “The Slaughter of the Canaanites” – 8/6/2017– Synopsis
One of the most difficult Bible questions is explaining the ethics of God’s command to the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanites and take their land (c. 1450 BC). This Old Testament account is often used by critics to cast dispersion on the divine inspiration of the Bible – “How can you follow a God who requires people to slaughter infants?” Even more concerning is that critics use this event to make a moral equivalency between Christianity and ISIS.
Saying that we are no longer under the Old Covenant is part of the answer, but it is not a fully sufficient answer since the God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament. In this program, I give a number of explanations for this unique event, not the least of which was the extreme wickedness of the Canaanites and God’s grace in relieving these children from being raised in a wicked culture.
Although I covered the subject adequately, I finished the program not completely satisfied with my explanations. I believe there will always be some mystery in the decrees of God that we will not understand until we are glorified in heaven. But for now, the slaughter of the Canaanites is suppose to shake us to our core because the wrath of God against our sin is absolute justice no matter what means God uses.
I can assure you that you will run into the slaughter of the Canaanites argument at some point. As Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:15, “We need to be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.”
Scripture References: Joshua 6:21; Deuteronomy 20:16; Joshua 9:24-25; 1 Samuel 15:3; Exodus 21:16; Psalm 58:3-4; Genesis 10:15,19; Genesis 15:13-16; Leviticus 18:3; Exodus 23; Deuteronomy 12:31;
Leviticus 20:23; Genesis 6:5; Isaiah 57:1; Jonah 4:11; Nahum; Jeremiah 22:30; Psalm 37:37-38; Psalm 109:13; Isaiah 14:22; 2 Peter 2:6; Deuteronomy 28:49-50; Hosea 15:16; John 1:17
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