Tuesday, February 21, 2012
City of Refuge
This morning I was listening to my audio Bible, as I do most days, when I got to the part where the Cities of Refuge are mentioned in Joshua 20. My mind began to run with thoughts and ideas about these wonderful cities. Imagination a place when you can run to, to hide from the avenger of blood. It made me think about what Jesus did for us. We are that person who has to run from the avenger. The devil is the avenger and he will relentlessly pursue us however, once we are secure in the City of Refuge we are safe. We are the innocent sinner who, by the blood of Jesus, are no longer guilty. Running for our lives on the day we become Born Again, we rush through the gate of the City of God, pass through the blood of Jesus as it is poured out for us in the doorway. We state our case before Almighty God, He sees we are covered by the blood of Jesus and declares we are not guilty. As long as we stay in the city we are safe. As long as we are careful not to pass out of the gate, the avenger can not touch us. In my minds eye I can see that city. It is an awesome city with healing trees and cleansing rivers. It has homes and families and food without end. However I also see many who live close to the gate, ever looking outside. They are the people who like to live on the edge of the city's boundaries, longing for the past. Saved yet not convinced of the goodness inside of the city, they look outside and long for the day they can be free. They sneak out at night and wander the surrounding woods, thinking that as long as they stay close by and can run back inside they will be OK. They forget that the avenger of death is waiting outside for them and one of those times when they sneak out they will become trapped and the city of safety lost to them. Dear Friend, don't live on the edge of the city...come deep inside and take advantage of the wonders you will find there. It's a good place to live... I'll see you inside. Joshua 20:1-6 Then the Lord said to Joshua: 2 "Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, 3 so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood. 4 When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city. Then the elders are to admit the fugitive into their city and provide a place to live among them. 5 If the avenger of blood comes in pursuit, the elders must not surrender the fugitive, because the fugitive killed their neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought. 6 They are to stay in that city until they have stood trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest who is serving at that time. Then they may go back to their own home in the town from which they fled."