Barrett on the Canaanites and God's Justice

September 24, 2011

Those that defend the Canaanites as innocent victims of Israeli savagery fail to recognize the theology of extermination. To charge the Old Testament as being sub-Christian because of this divine order to kill all the Canaanites is to deny the holy justice of God. . . . In addition to the manifold evidence of the Old Testament about the heinous sins of these doomed people, the book of Hebrews gives some insight that silences every accusation against God and any defense of the inhabitants of Jericho: they perished because the did not believe (Heb. 11:31). What Rahab heard and believed about the God of Israel all the city heard (see Joshua 2:9-11). What they heard, however, they did not mix with faith. From every perspective they were without excuse before the Lord. . . . God’s judgments are always righteous; no sinner, whether from ancient Jericho or modern America, can claim innocence before the most holy Lord.

—Michael P.V. Barrett, Complete in Him: A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying the Gospel, 277

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