a place of refuge
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 20
Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood. [Joshua 20:2-3]
The Lord set up cities of refuge so that people who found themselves in trouble with someone could flee for safety and justice.
The key word here is “accidentally”, it is not a way to escape justice, but a way to escape street justice – revenge.
This world has become a dangerous place, but God sets up places of refuge and safety where people can flee.
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ [John 8:7]
The Pharisees were more eager to mete out God’s justice than to show mercy.
They were un fairly accusing this woman who was caught in sin, meanwhile the man (who was also caught?) is not presented.
They were not interested in justice.
Jesus exposes their hearts, showing them that they are as guilty as her.
And He becomes a place of refuge for this woman.
Jesus is a refuge for everyone, both the innocent and the guilty.
He calls everyone to come to Him to find rescue, relief, redemption.
He is the ultimate City of Refuge.
And as Jesus-followers, we need to be the same.
Jesus is the Light of the world (like the sun), and as His followers we are also light in this world (like the moon, reflecting His light).
As He is a refuge, we are to be a refuge to the broken, the needy, the falsely accused and the guilty.
Through us they can find hope and healing in Jesus.
We are dispersed throughout the world to be places of refuge for our neighbours.
Who is God bringing to your door, for refuge?
Lord, the people I meet each day are in need of Your comfort and healing and help. Help me to be a refuge, where they can find Refuge in You!