The Canaanites got a lousy deal. God orders the Israelites to wipe them out, man, woman and child; and punishes the Israelites when they don't do a thorough enough job of it. How does this fit into your book of Creative Love?

by robert brow

Dear J.,


There is no way round the fact that our Sovereign King Messiah reigns among the nations (see Advent Comings of the Lord among the Nations). Part of his reign is the exercising of wrath (as the police, judges and correctional officers have to do in any nation). He can choose to exercise wrath though earthquakes, floods, famine, invading armies,etc. And he often uses heathen armies in doing this. The Babylonians toppled the Assyrians, and then they in turn were toppled by the Persians. In our day millions have been killed in wars to end torture and oppression. In the case of the very degraded human sacrifice practicing idolatrous Canaanites, the LORD waited till he was ready to order the invading Israeli army to do this (Genesis 15:16).

Nations have no business taking upon themselves to exercise wrath unjustly, and if they do attack wrongly they also suffer wrath indue course.

All wrath is part of the love of God with the intention of providing an environment for nations to "search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him" (Acts 17:27). And the ultimate intention is to bring as many children to glory in the eternal city of God as would be happy to be there.

Modern people are sentimental about death because they fear it. And the media love to to be horrified by death in large numbers. But when we see it as a means of moving from this life to our eternal home (like going through a door) nations undergoing wrath is not a tragedy. And it makes no difference for us how soon it comes to babies, children, innocent people, and large numbers in a nation.

That sounds heartless, but we cannot avoid the fact that it happens, and the LORD and those who know him feel the pain and compassion for the bereaved. Those who are sentimental and upset about death become paralyzed. But those who believe the reiging Messiah is totally loving even in exercising wrath, they are the ones in the forefront of caring for the needy all over the world.




model theology home | essays and articles | books | sermons | letters to surfers | comments