How Corruption Can Destroy a Nation – the Fall of the Canaanites

Government corruption is a plague to its people. Where there are corrupt people, there is a corrupt government. Where there are good people, the corrupt government will eventually come to God’s justice. Sadly, corrupt governments mostly represent corrupt societies especially those that are democratic. There is certainly something wrong when a nation consists of attacking each other, and yet does not observe their own immoral behavior.

Every national government that has ever existed and ceased has killed itself by it own unrighteousness. The U.S. can slowly kill itself little by little by turning away from God. George Washington said,

“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favors” (Thanksgiving Day Proclamation 1789).

Look at the Bible’s description of the fall of the nations of Canaan. The nations of Canaan were the descendants of Ham (Gen. 10). Noah cursed Ham and his son Canaan (Gen. 9:24-27). These nations lived in the area of the Promised Land. Canaanites and Perizzites lived around Abraham before the nation of Israel was formed according to (Genesis 12:6, 13:7). God told Abraham that when the sins of the Amorites were complete then Abraham’s descendants would come back to the Promised Land (Gen. 15).

The nations of the land of Canaan were extremely evil. God said to Israel in Deuteronomy 9:5,

“It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Look at the sins of these nations:

(1) These nations worshiped false gods (Exo. 23:24). Revelation warns about worshiping a ruler (the Beast), the great city (the Harlot of Babylon), and the nation that government that gives them prosperity and luxury. Do people worship governments today for what they can give them?

(2) The nations of Canaan offered their children to their false gods. Archeological digs have shown jars of sacrificed children and the bodies of children built into the walls of their homes. I have yet to find a non-Christian nation that have not practiced infanticide including abortion. From native Americans to Polynesian islanders to African tribes to Hindu India, these all have practiced infanticide. Roman historians record their practice of infanticide too. God told Israel in Leviticus 18:21, “And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Yahweh” (cf. Lev. 20:2-3) Leviticus 18:24 says that this was a sin of the nations that were being cast out of Canaan. Psalm 106:37-38 spoke against Israel’s sins in comparison to the Canaanites saying,

They even sacrificed their sons And their daughters to demons [false gods], And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with blood.

In other words, corrupt nations find a way to justify killing their children.

(3) These nations were practicing sexual perversions. Today, many people want to be identified by their sexual desires as who they are. They want you to recognize, tolerant, and even accept their behavior. Leviticus 18:22-24 describes these perversions,

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you.’

This is happening today. Homosexuality is the sign of a depraved society. Christ’s Spirit says about those who turned from the Creator in Romans 1:26-27,

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”

Does this resemble the United States today? Is this nation truly “one nation under God indivisible”? Our country is changing. Many people sacrificially slaughter their unborn children for their pride and selfish ambitions.

What are Christians doing? Are we saying anything? Do we have the boldness to confront social evils? Are we telling people that they cannot save themselves? May God bless us that our whole nation is not yet so morally depraved as the nations of Canaan.

Our loyalty to country comes from God. God commands us to obey our government. He set these powers up, but like Saul who was chosen by God, these rulers have free will to leave God and His righteousness. Still, David respected God’s appointment of Saul and would not take his life when he had opportunity. He has blessed us with freedom with freedom of religion, and the responsibility to stand as Christians when the government opposes Christ. God told Israel in Deuteronomy 18:9,

“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.”

Will our children follow after the sins of this world? Will we raise them in Christian homes? Will we oversee their education? Will we teach them God’s Word everywhere that we go? There is a judgment coming to all.

Look at God’s judgment of the nations of Canaan. His judgment was just and unlike that of other nations. God told Israel in Deuteronomy 20:16-17,

“But of the cities of these peoples which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the LORD your God has commanded you,” (cf. Deut. 9:4).

God did not let one live within these nation to turn Israel aside including children. The evil nations around them would not think anything of a nation, who raised the children of another nation, allowing their condemned beliefs into their own society. Instead, the innocent children of Canaan were received into Heaven at death and saved from these depraved people (Matt. 18:10, 19:14). Deuteronomy 7:2 also says,

“…when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.

Yet, the Scriptures tell us that Israel did not accomplish this (Judges 1:27).

What is God’s message here with such a punishment? Those who worship anything or anyone other than God, murders their own children, and practices sexual immorality, then these deserve utter destruction. God was acting on these nations with civil justice. Moses’ law commanded to execute those who murder (Lev. 24:17). Leviticus 18:25 described these evil people saying, “For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants.” Their divine punishment was for another nation to utterly crush them. Their sin was so sickening that they deserved to be vomited out of the land. Therefore, the Israelites were to completely destroy them. Why the Israelites? Deuteronomy 7:4-5 says,

For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire.”

When it comes to tearing down altars and sacred pillars, we need to do this today. Everything that exalts itself against God tear it down (2 Cor. 10:4-6). These nations will corrupt. God tells Israel why they should cast out these nations in Deuteronomy 20:18, “lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the LORD your God.”

The judgment on the Canaanites was not the justice that God ordered for the other nations. Deuteronomy 20:10-15 permits Israel to offer peace to other nations that they have to fight against. This peace includes a tribute and service. If they warred against them, only the men were to be killed, and not women and children. All their possessions could be taken. God’s judgment on Canaan was so different. All of this came upon Canaan as God’s justice and His international law.

What do we learn from all of this? God extended mercy to the nations of Canaan for over 500 years to repent. This was the extent of God’s mercy. God is merciful today. The Spirit of Christ says in 2 Peter 3:9,

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but [the Lord] is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

God is patient and gives us time to repent. Many people simply cast that aside.

God will punish the unrighteous that rebel against Him. God still has this kind of wrath. Romans 1:18 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness”. People can’t see Christ in your life when you live in sin, because then you are suppressing the Truth.

This suppressing sin of Canaan is what we see in the world today. We see a world that needs Christ and needs to repent to be saved. We also see a world that does not repent is justly condemned. Today, we have to remember that the Church is God’s holy nation. This is the greatest nation in the world! Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage!” We are the greatest nation and God fights for us more than God fought for the Israelites. Second Thessalonians 1:6 reveals, “since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,” Therefore, Romans 12:19 teaches, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” This is our resistance. Revelation 12:11 describes Christian victory, “And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” This is how we fight today.

What about our earthly nation? We have to pray. First Timothy 2:1-2 instructs us,

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”

We have to submit and obey the leaders of this nation. First Peter 2:13-15 teaches,

“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men”.

Let’s act as the nation of God in Christ. We are the Church, His holy nation. Lastly, we can’t forget that we can’t save ourselves. We need Christ, His Word, and His Church. We need His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4). The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Don’t pray the sinner’s prayer, expect to be saved by faith alone, or think that God is obligated to save us for the good that we do. We have to obey the Gospel (2 Thess. 1:7-9, Heb. 5:8-9). We have to die to our sins, be buried in water in Jesus’ name, and be resurrected a new life in Christ.

About Scott Shifferd Jr.

Minister, Dean Road church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of three. Email: ScottJon82[at]yahoo.com
This entry was posted in Christian, Church of Christ and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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