CLEANSING THE LAND
In Second Thessalonians 2:3 the Apostle Paul tells us that there are two criteria to be fulfilled before the coming of the Lord Jesus to gather us to Him. One of the criteria is a time of rebellion. There is little doubt in my mind that we live in a time of rebellion that began three or four decades ago. Many persons claim to not believe in God. I suspect this is rebellion. I suspect they know that there is a Supreme Being, they simply do not wish to acknowledge Him. They rebel against Him. When things get tough, many “unbelievers” turn to the Lord. Someone has said, “There are no atheists in a foxhole.”
A frequent “reason” given for not believing in God is that He is a terrible, murderous god (please note the lower-case ‘g’). This statement belies ignorance of the Word, for our God is a God of love. The statement is based upon the command of the Lord to the Children of Israel that they cleanse the Promised Land of the peoples that lived there. The Lord told them to kill not only the soldiers, but all men, women and children. This sounds terrible, but you have to recognize what kind of people these were.
As an example, you will recall that there were giants in the Promised Land. Because Satan knew of the Lord’s love for that land (Deuteronomy 11:12), he placed every impediment he could think of for the Children of Israel. Not only were there giants, the Canaanites were pagans of the worst sort. One of their abominable practices was child sacrifice (Leviticus 18:21). How can anyone defend child sacrifice? The other “religious” practices of the Canaanites were not much better.
Moses warned the Children of Israel not to think that the Lord brought them to the land of milk and honey because of their righteousness. He told them it was “on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you”. (Deuteronomy 9:4) The Lord wanted to cleanse the land and He used the Children of Israel as His instrument.
The next time someone tells you that our God is murderous, inform them of the child sacrifices. And remind them that just as the Israelites were not righteous, neither are we. The many ways the Lord blesses us is not due to our goodness, but due to His mercy, grace and love. That love was demonstrated by the Lord sending Jesus to pay for our unrighteousness. It is only because of the Blood of Jesus that we have the hope of being in the presence of the Lord. May His name be praised forever!