“How would you differentiate between God’s instruction to Israel to purge Canaan of the various people groups located there and radical Islam’s jihad to purge the world of infidels?”
Many a Christian has wondered about God’s instructions to Israel to exterminate whole peoples in Canaan (Deut. 20:16,17), but there were reasons for this genocide, reasons that do not exist today.
When fallen angels took wives from among the daughters of men, they produced a race of giants in the early earth (Gen. 6:1-4). The purpose of the Flood was to exterminate that demonic race, Noah’s family being spared because he was “perfect in his generations” (6:9), i.e., not infected with this cursed seed.
Genesis 6:4 then describes another outbreak of giants that appeared “after” the days of the Flood, as Satan tried again to pollute the seed of the woman, frustrate the promise of Genesis 3:15, and prevent the birth of the Messiah. But since God had promised He would never again destroy the world with a flood (Gen. 9:11), it was left to the sword of Israel to wipe out this second eruption of giants, including Goliath, Og (Deut. 3:11) and many others (Num. 13:32,33; 2 Sam. 21:16-22).
This explains the seemingly heartless instruction to Joshua to exterminate the squatter nations that were sent there by Satan to contest the claim of Abraham’s seed to the land including, “all that breathed” (Josh. 10:40), “young and old” (Josh. 6:21), even their “little ones” (Deut. 2:34). But no such conditions exist on earth today, so any program that calls for the deaths of “unbelievers” is foreign to the Word of God rightly divided.
The story is told of a king who vowed to destroy his enemies, then proceeded to invite them all to a lavish feast. After the banquet, the king’s aides asked him what had become of his oath. “I did destroy my enemies,” he replied. “I destroyed my enemies by making them my friends!” Likewise, God’s only authorized method of destroying unbelievers today is by making them believers!
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.