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Numbers Chapter 35 (ESV)
9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there. 12 The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment. 13 And the cities that you give shall be your six cities of refuge. 14 You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities in the land of Canaan, to be cities of refuge. 15 These six cities shall be for refuge for the people of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills any person without intent may flee there.
- Read the passage without worrying about specifics; just try to understand its overall idea.
- Moses was told to designate six cities as “cities of refuge” to represent God’s grace to sinners, these were where God dwelt among the outcast. God knows our limitations and weaknesses, and he prepares a “refuge”, or safe place, for us. Jesus Christ is a city of refuge for sinners like us – for we all fall short of God’s holiness. Jesus protects us, and we take rest in Him. Jesus brings God’s grace to us as we pursue the spiritual life. We flourish in the light of God’s grace.
- Think about what it’s been like to be with the God who is both a God of justice and a God of refuge. Has it left me with questions or with new thoughts on how I want to deal with my sin in the future? Make note of anything that seems significant.
- Explore recent thoughts, feelings, and events in my life and how I’ve responded to them. What’s primarily on my heart today? Is anything troubling me?
- Bring these thoughts to the God who created “cities of refuge”. Read the verses again. As I do, picture God entering the room. How do I relate to his presence? Share with him what I’ve been thinking. Does doing so make me uncomfortable? Why or why not?