Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cities of Refuge Joshua 20

Joshua 20:2-3 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither; and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood."

It is obvious that tempers would flair over the killing of a family member or close friend. The killer, though innocent of malice, might be killed before the details could be found out. The cities of refuge provided a place for him to run to until his innocence could be determined. It was not that he was innocent of the killing but that he was innocent of malice in the killing. It was accidental.

If someone did kill out of malice, that person could find no refuge in these cities but was to be taken and account given for his crime. See Numbers 35 to read when the law was given. You will find it in the archives of this study.

v9 "...that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee hither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation."

Some have compared the cities of refuge to Christ where we can flee to escape the penalty of our sin. The cities were different in one respect. The cities were for those who killed by accident and without malice or hate. Christ has chosen to provide forgiveness for the guilty. We can go to him and say 'Yes I am guilty of terrible things.' and he will forgive. He can do this because he paid the penalty himself for our crimes. John 3:16. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life trough Jesus Christ our Lord."

Psalms 107:14 "He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and brake their bands in sunder."

Keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Joshua, Cities of Refuge, Israel, Milton Southerland

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