Why God gave the land of Canaan to Israelites?
According to the promise God made to Abraham, God gave the land of Canaan which was a dwelling place of below tribes
Also the process of making the children of Abraham into the multitude of people is according to Genesis 15:13-16, the children of Abraham will go to “a land” live like strangers and will eventually become slaves for 400 years and then, God would bring them with more substance from that “land”.
We know that “the land” is nothing but Egypt. There the children of Abraham lived under slavery for 400 years and returned with great substance.
Now God promised the land of Canaan to be the inheritance of the children of Abraham. And the reason for choosing this land is, “the sins of the land of Canaan”. God did not judge the people of Canaan immediately, but found Abraham whose righteousness is nothing but the faith in the God. And promised him the land and prophesied about the fulfillment of that promise.
By the time God talked to Abraham, the world moved utterly away from God. After Noah, we can find only Abraham. But even before he was called, Abraham was an idol worshipper and far from God. When God called him, he obeyed the God with trust. Also, we can see from the lineage of Abraham, he comes from the line of Shem, who is blessed by God through Noah.
God chose Abraham to bring forth a nation, chosen to be witnesses and eventually to bring forth salvation to all mankind. In this process, the people living in the land of Canaan was practicing various activities which brought the wrath of God on to them. Before, this happened, two instances of cleansing through extreme punishments happened.
- The global flood
- The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The intention of these 2 events is to keep as examples to witness the seriousness of the wrath of God for the sinful and wicked nature of man. Abraham was nurtured by God to make him understand that, God’s will is the fellowship. Abraham learned eventually that faith in God can move mountains. Now coming back to the people of the land of Canaan, the wicked and sinful practices are as below –
- The sexual immorality: Leviticus 18:6 – 30
- Child sacrifice to Molech: Leviticus: 18:21
God warns Israelites (the children of Abraham) that, if you practice any of these immoral activities, you also will be cut off from the land. So, it’s clear that God is not partial to anyone, but judging the people for their sins.
Now, when we come to the Amalekites, these are the descendants of Amalek, who is the descendent of Esau, eventually from Jacob. So, logically these are brothers to Israelites. Also, God did not tell Israelites to war with Amalekites nor promised their land to be given to Israelites.
But in Exodus 17:8-14, Amalekites started the war on the Israelites. That too they cunningly attacked Israelites from behind by attacking the weaker people, according to Deuteronomy 25:19. Then God cursed Amalekites to be wiped off from the face of the earth, in Exodus 17:16.
But during the process of making the children of Israel to live according to the commandments and the covenant of God, he left few nations there in the land of Canaan. The people of Israel till now fought all the wars to inherit the land of Canaan. Not by their might but the grace of God according to the obedience of their leaders Moses and Joshua whose task was to take the children of Israelites into the land of Canaan.
Now, God is teaching the Israelites through these frictional opposition of enemies to depend on Him, and be careful in following the commandments and statutes of God. Even in our life today, when we receive something from God, eventually the thankfulness in our hearts decreases. That’s why the troubles and struggles in life will keep us down to the feet of the God.
God told not to mix with the people of the land of Canaan. But the children of Israel, mixed with them. That’s why God allowed Moabites, Ammonites and Amalekites to conquer Israelites. Again here, God is not partial, when it comes to obedience and righteousness, he rewards for the wickedness without partiality. Now, the children of Israel cried unto God as we see in Judges 3:15. Then God delivered them. This is the learning process of Israelites and the teaching process of God. Unless we obey God and have fellowship with him, we cannot live to fulfill the purpose of his will.
During this course of events, when the first king of Israelites was appointed, the task was given to wipe off the Amalekites utterly from the face of the earth as God told. But Saul failed to do accordingly. Saul’s failures is also to teach people the contrast of a king who follows his own ways and a king who follows God’s counsel.
Many people when read the word of God, they will think God as a blood thirsty guy. But from the time of the first cunningly planned war by Amalekites, the was there for them to repent. Like Rahab heard and believed that God is truly God. But Amalekites experienced the hand of God but could not repent but became instruments in the hands of Satan.