[bible1year] Devotional comments on Numbers 34-36

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From: glen_stewart@...
Date: 20 Feb 2015 13:00:25 -0000
        These chapters deal with the assigning of the 
inheritance, looking ahead to the time when the nation 
would possess Canaan. Each tribe is assigned its 
portion--the Levites their special cities, and, most 
important of all, the cities of refuge are defined in 
chapter 35. We can get additional information on the six 
cities of refuge by reading Deuteronomy 19 and Joshua 

        The nation had no police force, and the elders 
of each city constituted a "court" to consider each 
case. If a man accidentally killed another man, he 
needed some kind of protection; for it was legal for a 
member of the slain man's family to try to avenge the 
blood of his slain relative.

        Numbers 35:16-25 makes it clear that God 
considers murder and manslaughter two different things. 
Murder was deliberate, but manslaughter was by accident. 
The purpose of the cities of refuge was to protect the 
man who accidentally killed a person. The slayer had to 
flee to the nearest city of refuge, where the elders 
would meet him, hear his case, and hold a trial. If they 
decided he was guilty of murder, he would be turned over 
to the proper authorities and be slain (Deuteronomy 
19:11-13). If it was clear that the slaying was 
accidental, then the man would be allowed to live in the 
city under their protection, not to be touched by the 
avenger. However, if the man left the city, he could be 
slain. When the high priest died, the man would be free 
to safely return to his own city.

        The purpose of this law was to keep the land 
from being polluted by murderers. Murder defiles the 
land, and uncondemned murderers lead the land into 
greater sin. This law provided for the protection of the 
innocent and the condemnation of the guilty. It was a 
just law. It is too bad that our laws today often make 
it easy for the guilty to go free. No wonder our nation 
is defiled with blood and there is little respect for 
law and order!

        These cities of refuge are beautiful types of 
Christ. Hebrews 6:18 tells us that He is our refuge. 
Because of sin, death has passed upon all men. God 
commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet 
sinners, Christ died for us, thus paying the price of 
sin (death for all mankind).

        Today, He is the only refuge for mankind, the 
only way to life everlasting. Every sinner must come to 
Jesus for protection against the judgment of God. 
Repentance from sin and simple faith in the finished 
work of Jesus Christ is the only way sinners can escape 
the wrath of God. He is truly the Rock in a weary land, 
the Shelter in the time of storm, and the Perfect Refuge 
for all mankind.