I decided to reply to the article which accentuated the wickedness of the Canaanite people and God's judgement on them and as I did, it was like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle suddenly fitting together to show the big picture. This is my reasoning:-
God loves everyone and wants everyone to be saved - that was made quite clear from the beginning of time.
Noah spent 120 years building the ark and this must have caused a sensation during that time, with many people wanting an explanation of what he was doing, yet despite the many warnings Noah must have given the people, no-one believed and wanted to be saved. God gave the people plenty of opportunities to repent of their wickedness, but no-one took up his offer, hence the judgement of the flood.
When God devastated Egypt at the time of Moses, Pharaoh's bloodymindedness was not lost on all of the Egyptian people, for when the Israelites fled Egypt, many Egyptians accompanied them. God had given them ample opportunity to recognise that he was the true God and some believed, while others chose to reject him, despite the display of God's warnings in the form of the 10 plagues.
As the Israelites progressed towards the Promised Land - the land of Canaan- word had gone before them of God's devastation of Egypt and the miracle of the Red Sea crossing on dry land, ( to name but a few miracles) so these people had the opportunity to think about the God of the Israelites and whether they wanted to believe in him. The first city to be conquered was Jericho and the story of Rahab and the spies shows that she at least believed in this God. For seven days, the Israelite army marched around the city before an earthquake destroyed it (just at the appointed time) so once again, God was giving the people an opportunity to change their attitude towards him, but they chose not to believe. This was not genocide.
But why was God's punishment on these people so severe? Taking a closer look at the lifestyle of the Canaanite people, although they had a conscience like everyone else, their moral standards really were shocking, probably the worst being child sacrifice. I cannot believe that no-one in Canaan had explored the beliefs and ethics of the Israelite God yet like the people in the time of Noah, they chose to continue living the way they wanted.
In the time of Abraham, he pleaded with God not to destroy the city of Sodom if even 10 innocent people could be found, but only Lot, his wife and 2 daughters were saved. On the other hand, Jonah gave the the people on Nineveh the opportunity to turn from their wicked ways, and they did, much to his annoyance!
As I took a closer look at the 'massacres' of the Old Testament, I realised that the people whom God judged, really were given an opportunity to turn from their wickedness but many chose not to.
The other fact was and still is, that God's standards are for real, and he does and will judge evil. Even if we do not see it in our lifetime, God will be the ultimate judge. He makes this quite clear all through the Old and New Testaments.
So, was God being unfair or unreasonable when whole cities were wiped out? At long last I can say 'no'.