In the previous blog we saw that Rahab and the Gibeonites joined Israel, because they had faith in the God of the Israelites (Rahab and Gibeonites) What is the difference between them and the Amalekites, Canaanites and Midianites whom God commanded the Israelites to annihilate?
The only difference is their attitude towards God and Israel. God’s enemies wanted to destroy His nation, the Israelites. In Psalm 83:1-4 we read, ‘O God, do not be silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. Come, they say, let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.‘
They wanted to get rid of Israel (it sounds quite modern, like Hitler). Did they think getting rid of the Israelites meant getting rid of God (God created the Israelite nation)? The only difference between the ‘saved’ and the ‘lost’ is that one group have faith in God and the other group wants to ‘annihilate’ Him.
The three groups planned their campaigns against the Israelites deliberately.
- The Amalekites waylaid the Israelites as they came out of Egypt.1
- The Canaanites wanted to attack and destroy the Gibeonites because they made a treaty with the Israelites. The Gibeonites asked the Israelites for help. Subsequently the attackers were vanquished. In the same way, the kings of Northern Canaan rallied together for a combined attack against the Israelites, but they were also routed. 2
- The Midianites conspired with the Moabites to have Israel cursed. Balaam gave them the advice to use women to entice the Israelites to idolatry, to worship their idols. 3 Balaam knew that would make God angry: the plague among the Israelites killed 24,000. 4
So the enemies of God have one thing in common, they hate God, ‘With one mind they [the Amalekites, some of the Midianite kings, Sisera, Jabin, the Canaanites, et cetera] plot together; they form an alliance against you.’ 5
Rahab and the Gibeonites acknowledged that God is all-powerful and they planned not to be destroyed. The others just plainly hated God. God acted to vindicate His honour, ‘Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord – that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.’ 6 The message remains the same today, ‘He [Jesus] will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.’ 7
The sad thing is that it applies to all haters of God, which includes atheists. One can only pray that they will reconsider.
- 1 Samuel 15:2
- Joshua 11:1-20
- Numbers 31:16; Revelation 2:14
- Numbers 25:7-9
- Psaml 83:5
- Psalm 83:18
- 2 Thessalonians 1:8