Nations Occupying the Land That God Gave to Israel
WHEN Jehovah gave Israel the land that he had promised to Abraham, morally debased nations were occupying it. The Bible candidly reports that God decreed the destruction of those wicked nations, and he appointed the Israelites to be the executioners. (De 7:2) Many persons have criticized that action. Others humbly acknowledge that it is hardly appropriate for imperfect humans to set themselves up as judges of God. (Compare Eze 18:29.) Their desire is to understand God’s ways. What do they learn?
This record clearly demonstrates that all people are accountable to mankind’s Creator, Jehovah God, whether they profess to believe in him or not. It shows that God is patient but does not shut his eyes to wrongdoing. (Ge 15:16) It makes clear that Jehovah leaves the responsibility for young children on the shoulders of their parents; he does not relieve the parents of this and thus allow them to feel that their actions affect only themselves. (De 30:19; Jos 10:40) It also shows that all who will turn from their bad way and worship Jehovah can be spared from destruction.—Jos 6:25; 9:3–10:11.
The Bible clearly identifies the wicked practices in which the inhabitants of Canaan indulged. Halley’s Bible Handbook (1964, p. 161) concludes: “Archaeologists who dig in the ruins of Canaanite cities wonder that God did not destroy them sooner than he did.” The lesson is clear: Jehovah does not forever tolerate wickedness.