A very important and relevant principle is brought into focus in Deuteronomy 9:5. The Lord does not overthrow one nation because he finds another great people or righteous culture that needs land. No, nations are overthrown “on account of the wickedness of these nations.” (Dt. 9:5)
Please note: The Lord makes it clear that the Canaanites were not being driven out because of God’s covenant with Abraham nor because this generation of Israelites where such wonderful people. No, the Canaanites are being driven out because of their own wickedness. And, because of their wickedness God will use this opportunity “to accomplish what he swore to…Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (Dt. 9:5)
God had actually made Abraham and his family wait 600 years for the land since the Lord said in Genesis 15:13:18:
“In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” – Genesis 15:16
In Deuteronomy 9:5 the sin of the Amorites had reached its full measure, plus forty extra years due to Israel’s rebellion. It is time for the Amorites/Canaanites to be destroyed in their fourth generation of rebellion. God will bring the fifth cycle of discipline on Canaan with the invasion of Israel and at the same time fulfill his promise to give the Land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants.