One of the hardest topics to discuss is the Israelite invasion of Canaan and the complete destruction of certain cities. It makes both Christians and non-Christians uncomfortable.
The intention of this post is not to give an apologetic for those events or to tell people what to believe. I only want to mention a few things to help guide conversations.
- God did not command the Israelites to kill every Canaanite.
- God did not command the Israelites to attack Canaanites outside the Promised Land.
- God did not command the Israelites to pursue the Canaanites who fled the Promised Land.
- Mercy was shown to some Canaanites (Rahab and the Gibeonites).
- God’s plan was not the extermination of the Canaanites but the occupation of the Promised Land.
This is not the full story and we should still have many questions. But any discussion without considering these facts will lead to questionable conclusions.