The Lord said to Joshua:
“Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses.” ~Joshua 20:1-2
God provided not only for their ease (as in the allotment of land) but also for their safety in times of trouble. If it were ever to happen that someone caused an accidental death, the deceased’s family might seek out the guilty party and exact revenge by killing that person without a fair trial. God gave the Israelites the privilege of asylum in certain cities where they might expect a fair trial and essentially exile themselves until the current high priest’s death.
As Christians we also have an eternal refuge in Jesus. Matthew Henry says:
“We cannot think these cities of refuge would have been so often spoken of or so much care taken about them, if they did not typify the relief which the gospel provides for poor penitent sinners and their protection from the curse of the law, which no one could ever perfectly obey.”
Take a moment to read Romans 8:1-2 and meditate on the result of believing in Jesus, which is the ultimate refuge for our eternal souls:
The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms
8 1-2 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
God thank you for your Word. You provided for your people back then, as you continue to provide for us today. However we are even more blessed than they were because we are able to know the fullness of safety and provision you have for us through Jesus – a real refuge, even better than a refuge protected by law.
31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger?
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.