Cities Of Refuge
In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy (Deut. 19:9-13), there is a passage that talks about cities of refuge. These cities were places where people who had accidentally killed someone could go. At first glimpse the passage is a little comical. I'm not sure exactly how often these accidental killings occurred? The Deuteronomy passage is especially interesting. It gives a specific instance, like if you're out with your friend chopping wood, and the head of the axe flies off and hits your friend in the head and kills them, you then are a person who can flee to one of these cities of refuge.
Last night my church was given the opportunity to party with refugees from Iraq. We had a big BBQ, played games, and made some good friends. It was a sweet time of laughter and fun. It's impossible to put yourself in the shoes of these refugees. Their country is torn apart by war. And yet, being with them for hours, learning their stories and playing with their kids, it's hard to understand why. It doesn't seem fitting that such a happy and hospitable group of people would need to flee their country to another for refuge. But they have.
My Need For A City Of Refuge
My new refugee friends have got me thinking a lot about my need for refuge. You see, every single human being is in need of a city of refuge–a place to run because of their sin torn lives. We've all sinned against the holy and perfect God who created us, and because of this sin, we deserve death.
But God is unbelievably merciful and he has given us a refuge.
Jesus Is Our Refuge
That refuge is a person and his name is Jesus. The New Testament tells us that Jesus became our city of refuge for us by going outside of the city, hanging on a cross, and dying the sinners death that we deserve. Because of this, he is the one we run to. He is our ultimate refuge.
I'm thankful for my Lord and Savior who I can run to for refuge. I've made a mess of my life. It's been torn apart by sin. But he died for me. He is the one we must run to. The one we must follow.