A commenter on our blog compared the destruction of pagan nations in the Old Testament to Islamic “jihad” or “holy war,” seeing the two as similar or the same.
We answered him thus,
“Yes God did on occasion command the Israelites to kill men, women and children. The Old Testament describes God as a “man of war” and He does battle with His enemies, often using human beings as His instruments in the pouring out of His wrath. It is difficult for us to come to terms with the fact that God ordered the killing of women and children, but it is not our place to defend or explain the actions of the Sovereign God of the universe. The Canaanites and the Amalekites were pagan nations who engaged in violence, debauchery, idolatry and child sacrifice. Their children (those that would be permitted to grow to adulthood)would likely repeat the wicked practices of their fathers and that may be why God ordered the deaths of young and old, male and female. Islam is a false religio-political system which seeks to impose the worship of a false god on the entire world. Islamic jihad is not to be confused with or compared to the God-ordained wars in the Old Testament.”