The City of Refuge
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18: 10
In the book of Numbers 35:9-24, God gives Moses instructions to build six cities of refuge when they enter the Promised Land. These cities were to provide refuge to anyone who killed someone unintentionally. All the person had to do was flee to one of these cities and they would be safe from anyone wanting to avenge the death of the person who was killed.
In those days, an ‘eye for an eye’ was the law of the land. Anyone taking a life, regardless of the reason, was subject to being killed by “the avenger of blood” – a term used to refer to a person taking revenge for someone else’s death. These cities were strategically located throughout the Promise Land and easy to get to from all points within Israel’s borders. Numbers 35:25 loosely spells out for us the law concerning Cities of Refuge:
The assembly is to protect the one who kills someone from the hand of the avenger of blood. Then the assembly will return him to the city of refuge he fled to, and he must live there until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil. Numbers 35:25(CSB)
According to verses 26- 28 of this chapter, the only requirement for protection was that you make it to one of the cities of refuge before the avenger of blood found you, and that you stay inside the borders of the city until the death of the High Priest. The death of the High Priest signaled a cleansing and forgiveness for past sins in the nation, and a new start for people who had accidentally taken a life.
The Old Testament ordinance about the cities of refuge were meant to prefigure a wonderful truth about the Lord Jesus Christ. These cities of refuges have all been replaced with the person of the Lord Jesus. He is our refuge, and when we run to Him we are safe. Not only are the cities of refuge a type of Christ, but the pardon that is granted by the death of the High Priest is also a foreshadowing of the death of Jesus on the cross, which paid for our sins. Not only the sins from our past, but also our present and future sins as well. The Lord Jesus Christ is our City of Refuge, and when we place our faith in Him, we are placed safely and eternally within the borders of His love.
If you are in trouble and being chased by any enemy of the soul, run to Jesus. He is just a prayer away.
Published on Jan 27 @ 3:11 AM EDT
Author: L.B. Cowman
“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
When we have doubts or are facing difficulties, when others suggest courses of action that are conflicting, when caution dictates one approach but faith another, we should be still. We should quiet each intruding person, calm ourselves in the sacred stillness of God’s presence, study His Word for guidance, and with true devotion focus our attention on Him.
We should lift our nature into the pure light radiating from His face, having an eagerness to know only what God our Lord will determine for us. Soon God will reveal, by His secret counsel, a distinct and unmistakable sense of His direction. It is unwise for a new believer to depend on this approach alone. He should wait for circumstances to also confirm what God is revealing. Yet Christians who have had many experiences in their walk with Him know the great value of the secret counsel of the Lord as a means of discerning His will.
Are you uncertain about which direction you should go? Take your question to God and receive guidance from either the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal. You must get alone with Him, where the lights and the darkness of this world cannot interfere and where the opinions of others cannot reach you. You must also have the courage to wait in silent expectation, even when everyone around you is insisting on an immediate decision or action. If you will do these things, the will of God will become clear to you. And you will have a deeper concept of who He is, having more insight into His nature and His heart of love. All this will be your unsurpassed gift. It will be a heavenly experience, a precious eternal privilege, and the rich reward for the long hours of waiting. DAVID
Keep still! When trouble is brewing, keep still! When slander is getting on its legs, keep still! When your feelings are hurt, keep still till you recover from your excitement at any rate! Things look different through an unagitated eye. In a commotion once I wrote a letter and sent it and wished I had not. In my later years I had another commotion and wrote another long letter; my life had rubbed a little sense into me, and I kept that letter in my pocket until I could look it over without agitation, and without tears, and I was glad I did—less and less it seemed necessary to send it. I was not sure it would do any harm, but in my doubtfulness, I learned reticence, and eventually it was destroyed. Time works wonders!
Wait till you can speak calmly and then perhaps you will not need to speak. Silence is the most powerful thing conceivable, sometimes. It is strength in its grandeur; it is like a regiment ordered to stand still in the mad fury of battle. To plunge in were twice as easy. Nothing is lost by learning to keep still. HANNAH WHITALL SMITH
I do not believe we have even begun to understand the wonderful power there is in being still. We are in such a hurry, always doing, that we are in danger of not allowing God the opportunity to work. You may be sure that God will never say to us, “Stand still,” “Sit still,” or “Be still,” unless He is going to do something. This is our problem regarding the Christian life: we want to do something to be Christians, instead of allowing Him to work in us. Think of how still you stand when your picture is being taken, as the photographer captures your likeness on film. God has one eternal purpose for us: that we should be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29 KJV). But in order for that to happen, we must stand still. We hear so much today about being active, but maybe we need to learn what it means to be quiet. Perhaps we simply need to learn to be still and watch God work out the details that challenged us so greatly and caused us so much distress. You will find that He works wonders if we can just still our hearts and sit before Him until He speaks.
Oh Lord, You know my heart better than I know it myself. You know my struggles and You hold each hope and fear in Your caring hands. Teach me, LORD, to be still and to know that You are God. I trust in You alone. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
An excerpt from the book: "Streams in the Desert: Morning and Evening"
Published on Jan 31 @ 12:46 AM EDT