Israel in the Promised Land

Promised Land

My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out.

The book of Joshua records how Israel gradually conquered the land of Canaan and drove out the six gentile nations as listed in the above passage.

It would be understandable for us to start thinking that this was unfair of God to drive out these gentile nations in order to make room for the nation of Israel to move in and take over their country.

However, we need to understand some background information that lay behind the decision to enter Canaan.

Joshua 11 v 20

20 For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

First; The six nations in question were living in the most ungodly way. Just as the Israelites could trace their ancestry back to Noah through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; so too these nations could trace their ancestry back some 900 years to the same Noah. 

Israel received the covenant, the Law and the Tabernacle through having a right relationship with God through faith. In contrast to this, these gentile nations had forgotten the awful judgement of the flood and had abandoned any knowledge of or relationship with God.

Their sins included the most grievous practices of vile sexual immorality, bestiality, and the sacrifice of their children who were burned alive as offerings to their false idols. 

Therefore, God was not merely bringing Israel into Canaan as a nation that would worship and serve him in the prescribed way - as outlined in the Law and the Tabernacle; he was wiping out these six sinful nations in judgement for their sin.

The world had previously been judged for its sinfulness by the flood in the days of Noah, and now nearly 900 years later, these nations were living as if there had been no flood at all.

Second; God had revealed himself to Egypt and to Israel and the surrounding nations as Almighty God. Therefore, if he has decided to take this action, who has any right to confront or oppose him?

I am aware that this belief will be offensive to many readers, perhaps even to you right now. But I want to remind you that this timeline has a thread outlined on every period which stresses this very truth - there is one supreme God who stands alone as creator and ruler of the universe.

He wants all nations on earth to know him and accept him as their God. In the New Testament we read of Christ coming into the world to save sinners. The following verse, while known by many of us, captures the message. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Did you know?

The Israelites ate manna in the desert for forty years. God provided manna for them from the fifteenth day of the second month after they left Egypt - Exodus 16. Wherever they travelled in the desert, the manna was on the ground every morning. 

God continued to provide manna every day - excluding the Sabbath - until they entered the Promised Land. Over two million people ate manna. This was a miracle which lasted for forty years!

Joshua 5 v 11-12

11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.

For a brief sketch of Israel's history in the Promised Land from circa 1400 - 590 BC read more on the following additional reading pages.

Read moreFrom Jordan to the Exile

Read moreThe Divided Kingdom