What to expect this week

This is fun week: we’ll finish Deuteronomy today, and then read the entire book of Joshua before starting Judges on Sunday.

Joshua can be a disturbing book to read- God orders his people to destroy the Canaanites. It’s easy to interpret that as a command to commit genocide.

However, God doesn’t actually order the extermination of the Canaanites, He orders the destruction of their nation, and orders that they be completely driven out from the land- this is very different from a genocide.

It’s also important to remember that the Canaanites aren’t just a bunch of innocent people, minding their own business and not hurting anyone. These are profoundly evil people- they routinely burn children alive to “worship” their gods. Every law in Leviticus that seemed odd or extreme was there to prevent the Israelites from adopting a Canaanite practice. There’s a reason why God doesn’t want this nation to exist anymore.

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