Deuteronomy 20:16 - 18
ESV - 16 But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes. 17 But you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded.
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A pastor friend one Sunday morning had two bottles of water on the front of the pulpit in full view of the congregation. One was 1/2 full of water that he scooped out of a mud puddle at a local construction site. The other was a new bottle of a popular brand of spring water and was still sealed. His sermon was on purity. He opened the spring water bottle several times and took several drinks from it until it too was 1/2 empty. Then he then took it and put one drop of the pure water into the bottle of muddy water and asked if anyone thought that that single drop of pure water made any difference to the muddy water. All agreed that it didn't. Then he took the muddy water and put one drop of it into the spring water bottle and asked if that made any difference to the spring water. Everyone agreed that he had just ruined the pure water by putting just one drop of the muddy water in it. The reason God commanded that the Israelites to destroy the Hittites and all the other "ites" was He wants His children to be pure and He knew that It doesn't take much impurity to ruin something that is pure. He knew that the men would take the women of the conquered tribes and marry them and then their heathen wives would convince their husbands to worship the false gods of their tribe. They of course disobeyed and set up altars to the heathen gods and God was angry with them. In the New Testament Jesus said "a little leaven leavens the whole lump" in Matthew 13:33 then in chapter 16 He said "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." In other words don't listen to them because they had replaced God's word with man made traditions. Lastly the scriptures say God is sovereign 627 times. If God wants to destroy something He has created he has every right to do so and we have no right to question Him.
Yours is a great question, j Avila! I have had it asked of me several times by unbelievers. The Canaanites were really SINFUL! The description of their sins in Leviticus 18 is vivid: “The land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants” (Lev. 18:25). They most probably had a particular kind of propitiatory child sacrifice (Lev. 18:21, 24, 26). This was INFANTICIDE!
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