Joshua 20

Joshua 20 begins with these words: “Then the Lord said to Joshua”.  Does God speak to us today?  The answer is yes.  God is alive and well and speaking to us each and every day.  The question is really ‘are we listening’.  God is in our lives daily.  He wants to communicate with us.  He is communicating with us.  The only variable in that equation is you and me.  Are will listening?  Do we even realize He is there moment by moment?  Joshua did, and he listened.  He listened because that is where he received his wisdom.  That is where he got direction.  That is how he knew how to live and lead.  We can learn much from watching how Moses and now Joshua connected with God.

Joshua was to set up cities so people could “flee to one of these cities and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and explain his case to the elders of that city”.  I still struggle to understand how you can kill someone without knowing how, but it obviously happened somewhat regularly in these days.  If there was an accidental death, you could go to one of the six towns and be safe until you could stand trial before the elders.  You would remain in the city until you “stood before the congregation for judgment”.

The cities were spread across the Promised Land.  Here are the locations that Joshua set aside:

–       “Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali

–       Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim

–       Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah

–       Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland, from the tribe of Reuben

–       Ramoth in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad

–       Golan in Bashan, from the tribe of Manasseh

These were the “designated cities” of safe haven for “anyone who killed a person without intent”.  This was God’s plan, not mans.  It was His direction and Joshua just followed those instructions well!

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Brad Kowerchuk on January 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    What might the “cities of refuge” portray for us today?
    Thoughts to consider: Those accidental manslayers in Israel needed to prove they had a clean conscience, and did so by staying inside the protection of those cities until the high priest died. What need do we have of a clean conscience before God today? How do we obtain it? And, what do we need to “stay inside” to continue to receive protection?


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