ODJ: Safe Refuge

August 9, 2017 


Anyone who kills another person accidentally and unintentionally can run to one of these cities; they will be places of refuge from relatives seeking revenge for the person who was killed (v.3). 

READ: Joshua 20:1-9 

My first car was a secondhand mini panel van. My dad spent hours fixing it, including the final touch of painting the bonnet a pretty powder blue. He didn’t want me driving the car yet, but I decided to take it for a quick spin. Dad hadn’t completely refastened the bonnet, and as the car picked up speed, it blew off and I drove over it! I couldn’t believe it—the bonnet of my beautiful ‘new’ car was ruined. I tried to bump out the dents myself, but finally—tearfully—told my dad. He hugged me, said it would be okay and we both worked on getting the dents out of the bonnet and respraying it.

Yes, I did some pretty silly things growing up, but I knew I could always go home—it was my safe refuge. It still is.

The safe, forgiving space of my home reminds me of God’s provision of safety for His people. In the Old Testament, despite the high standards of Mosaic law, which included capital punishment for murder (Exodus 21:14), God made provision for safety for those who accidentally killed others. He did this by prescribing cities of refuge where they could flee (Numbers 35:15). God explained that these cities protected people from revenge killings, giving them a safe place to live (Joshua 20:3-9).

Through Jesus, God’s provision for forgiveness and safety went even further, for in Him anyone—even those who have intentionally sinned—can find forgiveness if they repent and turn to Him.

Just as a person who had killed someone accidentally was mercifully safe in these cities of refuge, so too are we saved from sin and death when we run to Jesus—our safe refuge (Hebrews 6:18-19). His grace and mercy allows us to enter a safe place for all eternity.

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day-plan: John 9:1-41

MORE
Read Romans 8:1-4 and consider what it means to experience no condemnation as a believer in Jesus. 
NEXT
Where do you go and what do you do when you’ve sinned? What are some of the things that keep you from running to Christ when you’ve messed up?