Cities of RefugeNumbers 35:11


When the children of Israel were settled in the land of Canaan, God ordained that six cities of refuge be set aside, to which a man might flee for security, if he had unintentionally killed another man. These cities of refuge were located strategically throughout the land, so that any one of them could be easily reached within a day's journey from any place in the land of Canaan. If the guilty man could get into the gates of the city before the avenger of blood caught him, he would be secure. These cities of refuge together form a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. They typically represent Him to whom we have “fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18).

      We are informed by the ancient Jewish rabbis that, at least once every year, the magistrates of each city were responsible to survey the road to their city, making certain that the road was clear of all debris and easily passable. There must be no obstacles in the way that would hinder any who might flee to the cities of refuge. The magistrates sent out work crews to remove all large rocks and fallen trees from the road, taking the greatest possible care to remove every stumbling block. Any low places in the road were filled. Any high places were leveled. All along the road they placed markers with the word “REFUGE” written in bold letters. When the fugitive came to a crossroad, he needed not hesitate for a moment. Seeing that blessed word, “REFUGE,” he kept on his breathless pace, with relentless determination, until he reached the place of safety. Once he entered the gates of the city, he was secure.

      The Lord Jesus Christ is the Refuge for sinners. All who come to Him are saved from the wrath of God. The way to Christ is plainly revealed, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” And Christ, by His righteousness and blood, has removed every obstacle that might keep the sinner who seeks Him from finding Him. He even sends His Spirit to reveal the way, lead us in the way, and bring us safely to our souls’ Refuge.









Don Fortner



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