There are many events described in the Scripture that we find culturally uncomfortable and challenge our understanding of God. Not only does this leave believers with difficult questions, but non-believers use this as justification for not believing in God. Worse still, many pastors skip past these chapters when preaching! The Bible is the complete Word of God, it is a gift to us so we make every effort to try to understand it the best we can.
The slaughter of the Canaanites in the book of Joshua is one of these events. It causes atheists to ridicule Christians and even Christians to shy away from speaking about it. But credit to Peter Saunders for blogging about this – The slaughter of the Canaanites – was it justified? His blog attracted an onslaught of Richard Dawkins’ followers adding their thoughts with comments!
It is important to judge God by His own holy and just standards. Atheists will try to judge God for these actions but what or whose moral standards are they using? It is neither possible or wise to judge God by our own changing moral standards. How can created beings make a moral judgment against the Creator? It is even more foolish to pronounce judgments on ancient events with our 21st-century goggles on! Judgment is ALWAYS God’s business and not ours.
You cannot pick and choose which events to judge God on. This same God gave His Son to die upon the cross for all of us! This amazing act of love from God needs to be considered at the same time.
The reality is that we will all face judgment, this is a truth that most are not willing to accept. The evidence points to the God of the Bible as being the true God and so these challenging events cannot be used as a reason for not believing in God. So then it comes down to trying to understand these events from God’s perspective. This can be hard but difficulty should not be a reason to ignore these chapters or pretend they did not happen!