Friday, June 3, 2011

Numbers: Chapter 35

As we continue to look at the distribution of the Promised Land, we see the Levites--and the work of the temple--being cared for by the entire nation of Israel.  Homes for the Levites and pastureland for the sacrificial animals were all allotted out of the inheritances.  We, too, are charged with the responsibility of giving to the work of the Lord out of the blessings He gives to us.  We are always blessed that we might be a blessing; our blessings should build the church.

Out of the cities allotted to the Levites, cities of refuge were to be designated.  The justice system was integrated with the religious system, and those who accidentally killed another were given protection in certain Levitical cities.  It is interesting to me that accountability was required even for accidents; the city of refuge was to be the individual's residence for the remainder of the 'current' High Priest's life.  Lives were valued and one did not just 'go on as before' after a tragic death.  For willful, emotion-laden murders, there was no price that could be paid.  The penalty of life for life was not negotiable; it was explained as an issue of defiling the Promised Land.  Our refuge is to be Jesus and eternally. 

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