Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Say to the people of Israel, ‘Appoint the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses, that the manslayer who strikes any person without intent or unknowingly may flee there. They shall be for you a refuge from the avenger of blood. He shall flee to one of these cities and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and explain his case to the elders of that city. Then they shall take him into the city and give him a place, and he shall remain with them. – Joshua 20:1-4 ESV
We need to understand the Bible and God’s plan for redemption, reconciliation- for you and me. The Middle East, as in most regions, have CODE’S- ways to make sure there was SOCIAL JUSTICE. The Code of Hammurabi was one of the earliest and most complete written legal codes, proclaimed by the Babylonian king Hammurabi, who reigned from 1792 to 1750 B.C The Hammurabi code of laws, a collection of 282 rules, established standards for commercial interactions and set fines and punishments to meet the requirements of justice. This was the environment of the OLD TESTAMENT and the JEWS lived under similar codes from their ancestry. And one was; EYE FOR AN EYE- if someone did something bad to one of your family, they were hunted down by the victim’s family and that person would be killed. God wanted His children to function differently; to accept and receive. MERCY and FORGIVENESS.
Leader, God is a God of Mercy and Grace. He knows the difference between accidental and intentional- He knows our hearts. Some things happen of volition and somethings happen out of chance, or unfavorable circumstances. Volition or WILL is the cognitive process by which an individual decides on and commits to a course of action. Someone could be killed by a flying axe-head, an unintentional act- yet they would be hunted down and killed unless they could get to the CITY OF REFUGE. Then a trial would happen, and that person’s safety would be guaranteed, and proper justice delivered. Those of us who follow Jesus need to make sure we quit letting the WORLD twist scripture and use the WORDS of GOD- who they don’t believe in, to abuse those who do believe in Jehovah. This is a tactic of the devil see Luke 4:1-12 and Matthew 4:1-11. Just like the cities of refuge have been twisted to create ‘sanctuary cities’. And Yes- HEAVEN HAS A WALL! (Revelation 21:12. Read the book of Jeremiah- Walls are not immoral! They too were created by our GOD!
Conduit, Moses himself uses this example for the establishment of CITIES OF REFUGE. “Suppose someone goes into the forest with a neighbor to cut wood. And suppose one of them swings an ax to chop down a tree, and the ax head flies off the handle, killing the other person. In such cases, the slayer may flee to one of the cities of refuge to live in safety.” (Deuteronomy 19:5) The Bible tells us “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and our only hope is in the one name “under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). This the GOOD NEWS, the core of the gospel. Salvation is full and free through Jesus Christ alone. The sinner’s only hope is Jesus Christ. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10). For those in NEED of SAVING-Their only hope was to get to the city of refuge. The MANSLAYER was in a desperate situation and had absolutely no hope, except, IN the CITY OF REFUGE. This is a shadow of the substance of JESUS the CHRIST. It is a picture of our LORD. This offer of HOPE is true today for every inhabitant of planet Earth- but it is NOT a place, it is a PERSON. You don’t have to go anywhere to find this HOPE, HE IS readily available right here, right now- and HE IS ON A RESCUE MISSION! Today, decide that you will believe the WORD OF THE LORD, and not the WORD of the WORLD! “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:12).