A Church of Refuge – Joshua 20

“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.” (Josh 20:3)

In this chapter, the Lord tells Joshua to appoint the cities of refuge that He first instructed Moses about. Anyone who killed someone accidentally could run into one of these cities as a refuge from an avenger. He would then appear before the elders at the city gate and present his case, and they would let him in the city and protect him from the avenger, and they would render a judgement. The person would then have to stay in that city until the high priest died, then he would be allowed to return to his home town without fear. The cities of refuge were Kedesh in Galilee of Naphtali, Shechem of Ephraim and Hebron of Judah. On the east side, where the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half tribe of Mannasseh are: Bezer of Reuben; Ramoth in Gilead of Gad; Golan in Bashan, of Mannasseh.

So you’ve made a big mistake and you’re constantly on the run- what do you do? You feel like no one will accept you for all you’ve done, that you’re not worthy. But there is someone you can run to today, and that is Jesus. He is your refuge from the world, He is your hiding place. When everyone else rejects you, He accepts you. He accepts you in the Beloved. You know, the only Jesus the world can see is you and me, the church. We need to be a place of refuge for those who feel unworthy, a place where they can come without feeling condemned for mistakes and failures they’ve done. All have sinned and fallen short, we’ve all made huge blunders- let’s be like Christ and provide a refuge for those who come to us hurting and in need of forgiveness and comfort. the world can’t afford the church to be judgemental anymore, they need a church who really cares and is willing to be Christ to them. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about- if you’ve been shown love, then give it the same you got it. We all need a shoulder to cry on from time to time, an ear just to listen. Sometimes we just gotta stop preaching and start listening and caring.

“Lord, forgive us for turning those away whom needed You in their greatest time of need. Forgive us for not being the place of refuge You have called us to be. I pray that each and every one of us in Your Body, would truly be Your Hands and Feet to the world- that they may feel comfortable to come and pour out their hearts and find in us the Christ we represent- in Jesus’ name, amen.”

*2 Sam 22:1-4; Ps 91; Luke 10:30-37; Acts 4:32-37; 1 Peter 4:9; Jas 2:14-17


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