A Place Of Refuge
Human life is sacred. God said, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.” Genesis 9:6. However, God did not intend that vengeance be taken upon one who accidentally killed another.
When Israel settled in the land of Canaan, they were instructed to set aside cities of refuge. West of the Jordan River, in the Northern part of the country, Kedesh in the tribe of Naphtali, was a city of refuge. In the center, was the tribe of Ephraim. Shechem became a city of refuge. To the south, in the tribe of Judah, Hebron was designated a city of refuge. East of the Jordan, to the North and in the tribe of Manasseh, Golan became a city of refuge. This was in the center of the region. To the south in the tribe of Reuben was Bezeer, the sixth city of refuge.
The way to these cities was plainly marked. These cities were easily accessible to all, both Israel and the stranger. The gates to these cities were always open. The cities of refuge could not protect those willfully guilty of murder. Also, there was no protection for any who left the city.
In the Christian age, the church is a place of refuge. Christ is the Savior of the church, having given His life for it. Ephesians 5:23-25. The saved are added to the church. Acts 2:41 and 47.
Just as the cities of refuge were accessible to all, so the church is accessible to all who come to Christ. Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus told the twelve to preach the gospel to all. Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15, 16.
As the gates into the cities of refuge were always open, so Christ always stands at the door of the sinner’s heart. Jesus said, “I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him ...” Revelation 3:20.
Just as those under protection of the city of refuge had to remain therein, so the Christian must remain faithful to Christ and His church. Revelation 2:10. Those who fall away must repent (return to Christ and His Church).2 Peter 3:9.
The most frightening man-slayer is pursuing us. “The devil, as a roaring lion, is seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. The church is the support of the truth, (1 Timothy 3:15) by which we defeat Satan. Ephesians 6:17.
We must flee “for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” Hebrews 6:18. -111 Heather Court, Scott Depot, WV 25560.
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