Why Canaan?

Wednesday, Nov. 2                        

Have you ever wondered why God chose that little patch of barren land called Canaan for His chosen people to live it?  The Canaanites were idolaters and practiced evil of every kind.  They had rejected God and God planned to use Israel to wipe them out.  But Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria and a few other nearby nations were no better.  Wouldn’t it be better to live along the Nile River with its lush, fertile land?  Assyria was between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, another lush agricultural land.  The Jordan River and the Dead Sea hardly measure up to those choice areas.  But God had a reason for choosing Canaan.  It certainly was not that Babylonia, Assyria, Persia, et al. couldn’t be conquered.  Israel could never have conquered Canaan without God, either.  And it wasn’t because God was pleased with Assyria, et al.  They were just as evil as the Canaanites, and probably more vicious.  After those nations did God’s bidding in punishing Israel, they got their just desserts.  So why did God choose Canaan?  I think it was because it was the crossroads of commerce.  Multiple peoples with multiple cultures and religions passed through this area every day.  God meant for Israel to share the revealed truth of the true God to the pagan nations around them.  Exodus 19:16.  “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”  What better place than Canaan? they didn’t have to be foreign missionaries; they could just witness to the people passing through.  Unfortunately, they didn’t do a very good job of it.  They soon followed the sins of the Canaanites—whom they had not totally wiped out—and had to be punished by—yes, by the Assyrians and Babylonians.

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