Highlights In Today's Reading:
The six cities appointed as places of refuge are assigned. The command to support those in the service of the Lord is obeyed by all the tribes (21:44-45).
The Covenant promise of God to Abraham (Deut. 1:8; Lev. 26:42) was certain to be fulfilled. God had given His Word.
When faith in the Word of Almighty God led Abraham to the promised land, this promise was partially fulfilled (Heb. 11:9). However, the real inheritance that God promised Abraham was more than a great Israelite nation in Canaan, but a spiritual nation through Christ (Gen. 12:2-3,7; 13:15-16; 22:18; Gal. 3:16).
The call of God to Abraham meant separation from all earthly ties and securities. The key is revealed by the Apostle Paul, who said: This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before (Phil. 3:13). Sooner or later the majority will say: Let us return into Egypt (to the things of the world) (Num. 14:4). The fulfillment of the promise was dependent upon Abraham's unconditional obedience, for he went out, not knowing whither he went (Heb 11:8). Abraham did more than just believe in the ability of God to provide a country — he forsook his security in Haran in obedience to God (Gen. 12:5).
Now that the Israelite tribes had possession of their territories, the Lord also spake unto Joshua, saying . . . Appoint . . . cities of refuge . . . That the slayer that killeth any person unawares (unintentionally) . . . may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. . . . he . . . shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city. If the elders declare him innocent, they shall give him a place, that he may dwell among them (Josh. 20:2-4). There were six cities of refuge (Num. 35:9-34; Deut. 19:1-13). One who unintentionally killed someone was not to be given to the avenger of blood for execution. Even though innocent, he must remain in the city of refuge for protection from the avenger.
After the death of the high priest, the refugee could return home. The cities and the high priest were a type of Christ for sinners who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. . . . We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heavens (Heb. 6:18-20; 8:1).
Thought for Today:
Since all have sinned (Rom. 3:23), aren't you glad God made a way for us to have our sins forgiven through Jesus Christ, our refuge and strength (Ps. 46:1).
By Eleazar, the chief priest (Josh. 21:1; Num. 3:32). Jesus Christ is our High Priest. The . . . High Priest of our profession (confession), Christ Jesus (Heb. 3:1).
20:2 Appoint out =choose; 20:3 unwittingly =without premeditation; 20:4 declare his cause =state his case; 20:5 hated him not = was without malice; 20:9 stranger =alien resident; sojourneth =temporarily dwells among them; at unawares =by accident; 21:1 heads =leaders; 21:4 lot =share.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Olga Salinas • International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Clarence Madison • Staff: Mike Moore • Country: Ecuador (13 million) in South America, on the equator • Major language: Spanish • Religious freedom • 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Your prayers must be offered to God in Spirit and in truth (John 4:22-24).
Optional Reading: John 11
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:16