If you have been patient enough to read the previous series, you have read several key insights that help us understand God as he is revealed in the Old Testament:
- God implemented justice on a particularly evil culture. In doing so, God was not forcing His law onto every other nation; He was showing He was a God cared about the victims of evil.
- God waited hundreds of years before implementing His justice; he carefully warned the targeted cultures; and he drove out most of the people ahead of time.
- The language of destruction in the war texts primarily contain language of displacement: God was destroying a horrific cultural system, even while the individuals within it were embraced by the Israelite community.
- The people involved in the wars were the cultural gatekeepers (priests and military), not the civilians.
- The rules of war reflected the principle of lex talionis, the command that the punishment should not exceed the crime.
- This is not a history of genocide, but of the salvation of an area of the world from specific cultures that were some of the most brutal on record in human history.
So why does all of this matter to us today? Continue Reading…