Why Would God Choose a Military Campaign and Relentless Slaughter of People for His Judgment?
Many people struggle with war. It is one of man’s worst evils. So why would God use war against people and slaughter whole groups of “innocent” people.
Because these people were not innocent. They were sinners and 400 years prior to Joshua, God had promised Canaan to His people. The sins of the Canaanites caused them to forfeit the right to the Promised Land. History shows the Canaanites as engaging in some of the worst sins such as child sacrifice, butchery, and sadism.
Furthermore, the Israelites were susceptible to outside influences as the golden calf showed. God wanted all unbelievers gone to eliminate this threat. As we’ve just seen, however, the Gibeonites have been spared–a disobedience that as Judges tells us will lead the Israelites astray.
The Crusades and Beyond: Holy Wars Today
The wars of the Old Testament were specifically ordered by and guided by God. We know God eliminated these peoples because they were sinners, and God chose war to do so.
Then along came Jesus who chose to suffer and die rather than kill others. His weapon was the Good News, leaving the judgment of all peoples until the Last Days.
For us today, our weapon is the same. We follow Jesus. He chose non-violent means to win people’s hearts. And so must we.
Bible Study Fellowship’s Study for 2018/2019 is People of the Promised Land.
This study is divided up into two divisions: Part 1 will cover from Joshua to Solomon and Part 2 will cover Israel when it’s divided up into two kingdoms and the minor prophets. This study used to be one study and is now being broken up into two years for the first time.
Part 1 for this year will cover: the books of Joshua, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1-11 and overviews of Psalms and Proverbs.
BSF has a great breakdown on their website HERE
After Moses dies, Joshua is hand-picked by God to lead His chosen people into the Promised Land “be strong and courageous because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them” (Joshua 1:6).
Then we will study the Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Saul, David, and Solomon.
Unfortunately, I believe you will have to wait 3 years to study Part 2 as BSF is sticking with mixing up their Old Testament and New Testament studies. Part 2 is scheduled to debut in 2021 after Acts and Genesis again. This is unfortunate as chronological order just makes sense to me. Furthermore, many of us have already done Acts and Genesis (including myself).
This is an area schools never touch on so bring the kiddos!
Most of this will be new as well since most churches don’t preach this (unless it’s Ruth or David) and then it’s only the exciting parts and familiar stories. I’ve read all of this but it’s been years and I’m thoroughly looking forward to it!