Summary: The first in a series on the Cities of refuge. Regardless of the past that is chasing you there is a place where the vilest of sinners can be clean.
The Lord also spake unto Joshua, saying, 2Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: 3That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. 4And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them. 5And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime. 6And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.
7And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjath-arba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah. 8And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh. 9These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.
When you take time to rightly divide the word of truth you stand amazed at the care in which God chose these cities that would become cities of refuge. Not only were they strategically located throughout the land but there names carry a tremendous amount of weight. As a matter of fact, as you look at the names you will see a picture painted of the Glorious Christ who was to come to become a refuge for all of humanity. My friend this great God, the judge of all generations has prepared a refuge for whosoever will! All who are weary may come. All who are athirst may come! The rich may come, the poor may come, the black may come, and the white may come! God is our refuge and underneath are the ever lasting arms! I want to take a moment and come back to the beauty that is hidden in the meaning of the names of the cities of refuge.
I. Kedesh. (a holy place, a separated place) What a tremendous picture of Jesus Christ. He is a refuge for the unclean! He is fully God and fully man, as God he has the authority to condemn your soul to hell for the crimes that you have done, but as man he lived a sinless life so that he might become your propitiation.
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Only that which is clean can cleanse. The unrighteous can find a refuge in the righteousness of God!
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18
The guilty soul can come running to the mountain of mercy.
And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them. Joshua 20:4
Did you catch that? When you flee from your past and make that journey to this city of holiness, before you find a refuge you have to stop at the gate! You can’t enter the refuge of his holiness until you get through the gate. Friend, can I tell you that the gate has a name! I said the gate has a name! Jesus said...