Laws and Order
(Exodus 21:12-27; 22:1-4)
(Leviticus 24:17, 19-21b)
(Deuteronomy 5:17, 19; 19:1-14; 22:25-29; 24:7; 25:11-12)
Cities of Refuge
The Lord offered His people a lengthy code of Old Testament laws to establish them as a civilized nation, set apart for His own glory.
Today, our Bible readings focus on laws providing consequences for killing and justice for victims of a variety of crimes. Murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, maiming, rape, assault, battery and other violent crimes are addressed. Clearly, the Creator values life.
Included among the many prescriptions for punishment is an interesting provision for those who may have slain another human being accidentally. God introduced the first instance of a place of safety or a sanctuary, in the form of a city of refuge.
What was a city of refuge?
In the Old Testament, the city of refuge was a place of asylum and security for any person who might have killed inadvertently. Involuntary manslaughter was differentiated from premeditated murder or crimes of passion.
If such a killer sought sanctuary in such a place, he could not be prosecuted. He would be regarded as protected from his accusers.
Where can we seek refuge?
The coming Kingdom of God has been described as a holy city, in which we will have no fears and no tears. It will be a place of refuge for all who place their trust in the Lord.
In the meantime, the Lord Himself is our refuge.
“My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.”
(2 Samuel 22:23, NASB, emphasis added)
“The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.”
(Psalm 34:22, NASB, emphasis added)
Because the blood of Jesus covers all our sin, we need not fear the accuser. Our iniquities habe been removed, and we are forgiven.
Hallelujah. May we find our refuge in Jesus.
Cities of Refuge
Will you pray with me?
You are our refuge,
And our Deliverer.
You have carried us
Into Your Presence,
Where we may find rest.
How we praise You.