"God's Love in the Old Testament" - Recap 7



Recap 7 covering chapters 19 to 21




Recap 7 coverings chapters 19 to 21


This is a synopsis of the third three chapter group that form Part 3. (If you click on any of he chapter headings they will take you to that chapter)


A. Overview


Chapter 19 - Canaan (1): A Contradictory God of Justice?    

19.1 Setting the Scene: the chapter's strategy

19.2 Approaching the Old Testament: An Overview

19.3 Justice & the Law of Moses

19.4 Justice in the subsequent life of Israel

19.5 Justice in the Songs of Israel

19.6 Justice and the Prophets

19.7 And So?

Chapter 20 - Canaan (2): Thinking about Justice and God

20.1 The Concept of Justice in Old Testament Usage

20.2 Justice in common usage today

20.3 Recap: The God of Justice

20.4 God as Lawmaker: His initial role

20.5 God as Law Upholder: His subsequent role

20.6 God as Bringer of Justice?

20.7 Review of the Chapter

Chapter 21 - Canaan (3): God, Israel and the Canaanites

21.1 Recap: God as a Bringer of Justice 

21.2 The Divine Strategy revealed: the Plan for Canaan

21.3 The Thinking behind the Strategy clarified: Canaan 's State 

21.4 An Aside: Taking Remedial Action

21.5 An Aside – Being Responsible

21.6 More on God's Responsibility

21.7 A Final Example: An alternative seen in the life of Rahab

21.8 Some Conclusions



B. Detail


Chapter 19 - Canaan (1): A Contradictory God of Justice?    


Thesis of Chapter 19: If the clear testimony of Scripture is that God is a God of Justice, it is inconceivable that He will commit acts that are contrary to justice, and so we will need to review all His acts in the light of this.


The point of this chapter is to set up a framework to enable us to then think about whether there is a contradiction between God's reputation as declared in the Old Testament and His acts.


The Law of Moses, from God, demanded justice within this new society

Justice was expected in the subsequent life of the nation of Israel

The psalms speak of the Lord as a God of justice

The prophets (under God's inspiration) demanded justice within the nation.


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Chapter 20 - Canaan (2): Thinking about Justice and God


We need to consider just what justice is.

The words used for justice are, in older versions of the Bible, rendered ‘right judgment' and the sense is always of a fair judicial decision.

Justice is about what we deserve or what transgressors deserve.

Cries for justice are commonly heard.

We expect, in a civilised nation, someone to step in and intervene to stop the injustice that is occurring, whether that be parents, social services or the police.

Nowhere is there the attitude that “justice means we do nothing”. No, justice demands something is done.

God, as Creator, knows best how the world that He has brought into being should work – including human beings.


The Bible is quite clear that God does NOT do two things:

•  He does not sit back and let us wallow in our failures.

•  He does not bring instant judgment on our failures.


What He does do is intervene in our activities in order to bring us to our senses and to help us come back (or come to) a place where we are living according to His design-rules.


Romans 1 shows us that because people refuse to take notice of the truth, God ‘gives them over' to foolish destructive behaviour, in order to bring people to their senses and back to Himself.


God is a bringer of justice.


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Chapter 21 - Canaan (3): God, Israel and the Canaanites


God's intent was the Israel should take over the land of Canaan


It is clear that it was a land full of superstitious idol worship that also involved child sacrifice.

It was a messy society waiting to be dealt with.

In life generally, we see situations that need remedying, where there is a threat to something good, which if not dealt with will only get worse.


God's strategy explained was first to make the people of Canaan flee.

It is clear that God anticipates that this will be the main thing that should happen.

An alternative which becomes clear is that they could make treaties and join and become part of Israel .

Failing this, fighting is the only outcome left.

One way or another, the existing situation is not going to remain – but the choice of what happens is up to the inhabitants. Theirs is the final decision. God has given them plenty of chance to avoid fighting.



C. And So?


We have taken some time to consider a number of issues pertaining to the taking of the land of Canaan .


We have very much focused on the subject of justice, suggesting the situation required action be taken against this land where evil reigned and lives were being taken for superstitious idolatrous reasons. It was, we suggest, as much an issue of justice as anything else.


The Lord was using Israel and His desire for them to have this land, as a means of dealing with something that needed to be dealt with.



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