3 of God’s lessens from history

There are many reasons that make the Bible the only book of its kind in the history of the world.  One is that God uses real life history to teach people His will and principles.  Romans 15:4 says, ‘For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, …’   We want to discuss three events in the Old Testament that God uses to teach us.

1.  The flood 

  • Genesis 6: 4 says, ‘…the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose…’ (it refers to demons that married human women).  That was Satan’s effort to prevent the fulfilment of God’s promise that the seed of the woman will crush his head. 1
  • The worldwide flood was a message to the devil: to try to thwart God’s plan to crush your head with the seed of the woman, will not work.  Adam and Eve’s bloodline had to stay pure so that the Saviour would be Son of Man, to redeem man alone, not the demonic hosts of the devil. 
  • It is also a warning to us: don’t mix with evil forces because it will lead you to destruction.  

2.  The Tower of Babel 

  • The tower of Babel demonstrates that no one can thwart God’s plans.  The people, led by Nimrod, refused to fill the earth as God commanded. 2  They decided to settle in the east and build a city that excluded God. 
  • To try to build God out of society, like the attempt at Babel, only leads to confusion – at that time it was the confusion of languages.  Today it’s confusion in the ‘language’ of life, of God’s plan for man.    
  • One of the types of confusion today is gender confusion.  There are many other kinds of confusion, even in the Church.  The devil fills the gap when God is banished from society. 
  • The Tower of Babel illustrates that God is always the Victor.  It is a vain hope of some to think they can banish God from His creation. 

3.  The Canaanite episode 

  • God could have eliminated the Canaanites with His angel of death, like He did with the 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in Isaiah 37:36.  Nobody ever complains about that incident!  
  • Why did God tell the Israelites to destroy the Canaanites?  Action is necessary to take in the promised land God has for each of His children.  However, idolatry stands strong and tall to prevent it.  
  • So the message about the destruction of the Canaanite idols is very important.  Idolatry saps your strength and resources, wastes your time and prepares you for a future without God – a future too terrible to contemplate. 

Conclusion

God is a God of mercy.  He warns us through real events of history.  The three examples show us that nothing can stop God’s plans, but some things can destroy our future.

References

  1. Genesis 3:15  
  2. Genesis 9:7

Why all the Canaanites were not killed

If the Israelites fulfilled God’s command to annihilate the Amalekites, Canaanites and Midianites (kill them all, part 1, Kill them all, part 2, Kill them all, part 3, Kill them all, part 4People flee in war 2), why were some of the descendants still living among the Israelites 900 years later? They remained Israel’s enemies for centuries. Yet the Bible reports that ‘all were killed?

To understand this riddle, we have to read the Bible carefully. For example, were all the Canaanites killed, or only those in the specific cities? The following gives us a clue to what happened.

#1. The refugee problem. People flee when danger or war looms. We read, ‘Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.’  The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, ‘This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.’ 1

The fathers would have instructed their wives and children to flee as the Israelites approached. They and those who stubbornly refused to leave, probably remained and were killed. 2  So the Bible is not wrong when it says all the people in a city were killed.  It was those who remained in the cities that were killed, while the others fled and came back after the danger passed.

For example, the Jebusites were ‘destroyed’ by Joshua’s armies. 3  Yet a short while later, we read that the Benjamites could not dislodge the Jebusites. 4  Later king David, taunted by the Jebusites, overcame them. It seems as if ‘destroy them all’ meant only those who were present at that specific time.

# 2. Only the main cities are on record. Another issue is that the Bible records only certain cities that were destroyed. In Joshua 15 is a list of more than a hundred towns and villages that were Judah’s inheritance. 6  Yet the Bible lists only a few main cities like Makkedah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron and Debir where all the people were killed. 7 Yet it is recorded that Joshua subdued the whole region. 8

‘Region’ must be understood as locally instead of a whole country.  When Joshua was old, God told him, ‘You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.’  9  When the Bible mentions subduing the whole region, it must have been local areas. The people fled, and later returned to be a thorn in the flesh for the Israelites. The Israelites mainly failed with the ‘mopping up’ initiatives. 10

Conclusion

The two reasons above explain why the descendants of the people in Canaan were still alive in the time of Ezra in 458 BC (900 years after the conquest). Careful analysis of the Bible, and comparison to what happens in times of war, reveals that the Bible is logical. Many enemies of God do not critically read the Bible, and only concentrate on the sensational, using one sided information.

References

  1. Numbers 22:4
  2. Judges 6:21; 8:26; 10:20,28;32,35,39-40
  3. Joshua 11:103, 12, 16; 12:10
  4. Judges 1:21
  5. 2 Samuel 5:6-7
  6. Joshua 15:21-63
  7. Joshua 10:28-40
  8. Joshua 10:40
  9. Joshua 13:1
  10. Judges 1:1-36
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