I remember I was writing articles regarding God’s Mercy On the Gentiles. So far I have covered 2 points

1. Part 1 : Gods purpose for placing the Israelites In Canaan
2. Part 2: Gods law our facilitating the Gentiles to learn his laws

Now I would like to share about Gods mercy to the other descendants of Hebrews. I am covering particular 3 races.

1. Ammonites : Descendants s of Lot,  Abraham’s Nephew
2. Moabites : Descendants s of Lot, Abraham’s Nephew
3. Edomites : The Descendants of Esau, Abrahams grandchild.

There is a very interesting reason why I wanted to bring these races into your attention, if we were to read about these tribes in part 2. we will realised that they are people whom God supposedly excluded and forbid them from joining his assembly.

Alot of Bible critics will view that God has a hate list written in Deuteronomy, in which 3 races are targeted. Deut 23:1-7 , and the 3 tribes mention in Deut 23 are listed in this blog entry. Bible critics will say accuse God of practicing racism and only show grace to the Israelites.

It is also easy for people to misunderstand God that when he judged the ancestors of these tribes, he charged their sins into the next generation. Some charismatic group will even use this as an evidence of “Generation Curses”.

But while all these criticism is on-going,  a lot of times these critics failed to examine  bible records of God grace given to these “condemned” tribes. Perhaps we should re-examine the facts and rethink our point of view.

1.1 Ammonites and Moabites : The reason for exclusion. 

People who read the old testament will definitely know the origins of this tribe. The record of their births started in Genesis shortly after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was recorded in Genesis 19:30-38.

Lots daughters committed incest with their father and the Moabites and Ammonites are the result of their immorality. While some people claimed that they are excluded from the assembly of God because of that. They are wrong. In fact Moses mentioned in clearly the charge that was laid upon them.

“An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD forever, because they did not meet you with bread and water on the road when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you” –Moses (Deut 23:3-4)

Both Moabites and Ammonites are not banned because of the sin of their ancestors, but they were banned because of the things they did to the Israelites during the wilderness journey.

1.2 Edomites and Egyptians

The Edomites are the descendent of Esau, and God once spoken through the prophet Malachi

“ Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’
   Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?”
Says the LORD.
“Yet Jacob I have loved;
   But Esau I have hated,
And laid waste his mountains and his heritage
For the jackals of the wilderness.”  – Malachi (Mal 1:2-3)

Yes, indeed the bible had in many occasion commented about Esau, that he did not value his relationship with God and when he had lost everything and was unable to get them back even if he sought them with tears. (Heb 12:16-17)

But despite the bad points about Esau, God is still determined to save the Edomites and he gave specific instructions for them to be included into his assembly.

What is even interesting about this is that God actually allowed the Egyptians to enter his assembly as well, Deut 23:7-8

So is it really true that Salvation is only restricted to the Hebrews and Israelites? I am sure you all can judge for yourself.

2.0 Moabites, Ammonites and Edomite Lands

I was doing my own research for bible maps when i came across this interesting map from Wikipedia

Interestingly, the Kingdom of Moab, Ammon and Edom are all neighbours of the Kingdom of Israel and Judah. Despites this fact, do you know that God actually helped these tribes establish their kingdom?

This is recorded in Deut 2, God gave specific instruction to Moses not to haress the 3 tribes, Edom (Deut 2:4-5) Moab (Deut 2:9) and Ammon (Deut 2:19). If we were to read the chapter carefully, Moses bear testimony of how God assisted these tribe to defeat the the Canaanite tribes that dwell in their lands. But since these verses are constantly ignored, please allow me to quote them here.  ‘

“The Emim had dwelt there in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. They were also regarded as giants,like the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim. The Horites formerly dwelt in Seir, but the descendants of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their place, just as Israel did to the land of their possession which the LORD gave them” – Moses Deut 2:10-12)

“That was also regarded as a land of giants;giants formerly dwelt there. But the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. But the LORD destroyed them before them, and they dispossessed them and dwelt in their place, just as He had done for the descendants of Esau, who dwelt in Seir, when He destroyed the Horites from before them. They dispossessed them and dwelt in their place, even to this day. And the Avim, who dwelt in villages as far as Gaza—the Caphtorim, who came from Caphtor, destroyed them and dwelt in their place.” – Moses (Deut 2:20-23 )

Note: Seir is the homeland of the Edomites and Ar was the homeland of the Moabites. You can see that they fought against people who are numerous and tall like Anakims, ironically you will notice that the children of Israel did not dare to fight against them (Num 13:31-33)

While we often thinks that God only fought for Israel, the fact of the matter is God also fought for the descendent of Lot, as well as Esau.

2.1 Placement Of Moabites, Ammonites and Edomite Lands

While we can draw conclusively that God rejected these tribe, yet he choose to rest them right beside the children of Israel. While the bible is very silent about the reason behind this arrangement, a few facts can be clear

1. These tribes are NOT friendly to Israel
a. They deny help to the Israelites during the wilderness Journey
b. They hired Balaam to curse them
c. They entice Israel to commit immorality.

In fact later on in history, the Edomites were judge by God for their treatment of the kingdom of Judah when the Babylonians invaded Jerusalem It was mention by Prophet Joel (Joel 2:19-20), Prophet Amos (Amos 1:11) and the book of Psalm testified the deeds of Edomites when Jerusalem fell

“ Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom
The day of Jerusalem,
Who said, “Raze it, raze it,
To its very foundation!”  – Psalmist (Ps 137:7)

But this judgement is only meted out very much later.

I can only say that it is highly possible that God hopes that these tribes could learn the law of God and turn back to him one day. I have good reasons to believe so, because if we were to look carefully at the heart of God in the old testament.

1. When he was punishing the Egyptians, he was sending a last warning to Canaanites

2. He keeps sending messengers to warn even if the people refuse to listen (2 Chron 36:15-16, Jer 36:2-3

3. God was willing to spare even the most wicked people such as King Ahab (1 Kings 21:27-29)and the city of Nineveh (Jon 4:10-11)

4. God never liked to see the wicked dies, but he wants them to repent so he can forgive (Eze 33:11)

It is base on these verses that made me feel that God placed the tribes nearby Israel (although they will prove to be a threat to them) so that they could still access to God easily and to turn back to him.  God is ever willing for people to draw close to him.

2.2 Exceptions In Gods Judgement. 

We learn about how God excluded the Ammonites and Moabites into his assembly. AT the same time you see God giving Joshua specific instructions  to wipe out all Canaanites yet he showed mercy to the Gibeonites and to Rahab. Therefore, we can conclude that although God has judged, even in the midst of executing his judgment God is still hoping for people to turn back to him.

When Ruth abandoned her fathers house and called on the Lord God of Israel, GOd took care of her and made her the grand mother of David, which allowed her to be one of the ancestors of the family in which Christ is born. Note that Moabites is not supposed to be part of Gods assembly, but yet God is ever willing to open his doors to them.

Remember that when Moses brought the people out of Egypt, it was a mixed multitude (EX 12:37-38). Yes it was indeed true that these mixed multitude also created trouble for the Israelites in their wilderness journey (Num 11:4-6). But let us keep an open mind, that just as there are bad Israelites who committed sin, there must be good non Israelites who believe in God too. Though the bible did not mention it, but I am wondering how many of these “mixed multitude” successfully entered Canaan.

3 Conclusion

I personally hope that this blog entry will have gave the readers a deeper understanding, that although God has chosen the Israelites to bear his name, the religion kept by the Israelites is not exclusive to them only.

AT the same time, I hope that the readers will be able to  understand that although God took care of the Israelites, God at the same time also helped the surrounding Hebrews in their war and he is also loving enough to bless them.

God forbid the Israelites to bully these races around and that there is a possibility that God still kept them close so as to allow them to hear the word of God and to repent.

Therefore, it is very unfair to say that in the Old Testament, salvation is an exclusive rights given to the Israelites, but rather they are appointed by God to declare his name and to teach his laws.

Although in the old testament God did not send missionaries to the world (in contrast to the new testament) , but God placed Israel at the cross roads of 2 major trade routes, God allow his name to be propagated from the land to the nations around.