Page 5 - February 2020 - Truth & Tidings
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trial because men don’t truly understand   the Canaanites (Jos 7). This “demonstrates
        justice – men love darkness.          that Yahweh’s righteousness is not limited
                                              by his commitment to Israel …. When they
        God’s Justice Displayed in the        sin, he punishes them, showing the glory
        Destruction of the Canaanites         of his justice.”
          The Canaanites loved darkness. Their
        debauchery included bestiality, pederasty,   Idolatry Robs God of His
        and abundant child sacrifice, all of which   Rightful Glory
        would be readily condemned by people    Idolatry is a vile offence in God’s eyes
        today. Is it just to allow such activity to   and was at the root of the Canaanites’
        go unpunished? “Indeed, what would we   sinfulness and of God’s command to
        say of a God who perpetually sat silent   conquer them – “that they may not
        in the face of such wickedness? Would   teach you to do according to all their
        we not ask, where was God? .... Yet when   abominable practices that they have done
        God finally does act, we are quick to find
        fault.”  The Scripture is clear that the   for their gods, and so you sin against the
                                              LORD your God” (Deu 20:18). Don’t pass
        destruction of the Canaanites was an act
        of judgment, a “capital punishment on   over this too quickly – what was at stake
        a national scale”  upon those people for   in Canaan was whether God would be
        their longstanding sin: “It is because of   worshiped or whether false gods would
        the wickedness of these nations that the   unjustly deny God the glory of which He
        LORD is driving them out before you”   alone is worthy.  And in Achan’s case, “it
        (Deu 9:4). 8                          is only the majesty of Yahweh that makes
          God’s verdict upon the Canaanites   this just …. The greatness of Yahweh must
        was not motivated by their skin color   be such that trusting in what one can see,
        or their nation of origin – it was not a   rather than what Yahweh has said, is a
        gratuitous ethnic cleansing. As another   crime that warrants the forfeiture of life.”
        example of His justice, “God shows no   Men don’t grasp the unique majesty of
        partiality” (Act 10:34). Rahab (Jos 2) and   God. In all His judgments, God is showing
        the Gibeonites (Jos 9) are examples of   that He has no rivals.
        Canaanites becoming part of God’s people.
        And remarkably, just as God is beginning   His Justice Highlights His
        to bring justice to the Canaanites, He   Mercy
        halts Israel’s progress to carry out justice   As crimes deserve punishment in a
        upon an Israelite family. Because of their   court of law, so sins deserve judgment
        idolatry, God judged Achan and his clan
        in a manner akin to His judgment upon   ⁹ James M. Hamilton, God’s Glory in Salvation
                                              Through Judgment (Wheaton, IL: Crossway,
        ⁶ Greg Koukl,  2010), Chapter 3, 2.2.2.
        ites-genocide-or-judgment             ¹⁰ See Mar 12:30, and recall having no other
        ⁷ Ibid.                               gods before Him was the first of God’s ten
        ⁸ For the interesting view that God’s judgment   commandments to Israel.
        on the land of Canaan is linked to the presence   ¹¹ Likewise, in the Revelation 14 passage cited
        of the Nephilim giants (Num 13:3), see “The   earlier, it is their choice to worship something
        Unseen Realm” by Michael Heiser (Lexham   other than God that condemns them.
        Press, 2015).                         ¹² Hamilton, Chapter 3, 2.2.2.
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