Read Joshua 20 -- 21
In Today's Reading:
The "eye for an eye" (Matthew 5:38) rule is exemplified here. If a person were killed, his nearest relative became the avenger (redeemer) of blood (Numbers 35:19; Deuteronomy 19:12). It was his duty to slay the slayer! If the death were accidental or unintentional, the guilty one could find safety in the six Levitical Cities of Refuge, the salvation that is found in Christ Jesus. When a sinner flees to Jesus for refuge, he is safe from the Divine Avenger of Blood. God always sees that His servants are taken care of, as illustrated by the 48 cities given to the Levites by the other tribes.
Verses for Today:
The Lord gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers. . . . the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand . . . all came to pass (Joshua 21:43-45).
Six Cities of Refuge appointed; 48 cities given to the Levites; the Israelites possess the land.
God had given His Word, and no power in the universe could prevent His covenant promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from being fulfilled.
When faith in God's Word led Abraham to the Promised Land, this covenant promise was partially fulfilled (see Hebrews 11:9). However, the real inheritance that God promised Abraham was more than a great Israelite nation in Canaan; it was a spiritual nation that one day would come through his descendant Jesus Christ.
God's call to Abraham meant leaving his homeland, family and friends. The fulfillment of the promise was dependent upon Abraham's obedience. Abraham did more than just believe in God's ability to give him a nation, he acted on that belief, By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went (11:8).
Faith is not merely a "profession" of belief in God. It is manifested by obedient submission to His will and fully acting upon how God has said in His Word that He would have us live. When we do our part, then we can be sure that He will fulfill what He has promised us in His Word.
Submission to God's will does not mean passive inactivity. It does not mean folding one's hands and doing nothing as some do who excuse themselves by saying: "I just leave it up to the Lord." Quite the contrary, He has left it up to us to bring His sovereign will to pass.
When a Christian presents his body a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), he also becomes a way through which the love, peace and joy of God may flow to the hungry, hurting multitudes whom Christ died to save. Being used of God is the Christian's true purpose for living.
Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).
A Thought from Psalms: I thought on my ways, and turned my feet (my way of life) to Your testimonies (119:59).
Through the death of the high priest after which a slayer was set free (Joshua 20:6). We are eternally set free from sin only because Jesus, our High Priest, died for us and then rose again (Hebrews 9:11-12).
20:3 avenger of blood = the nearest relative of the slain person who was to avenge his death by destroying the layers; 21:2 suburbs = pasturelands; 21:32 refuge = protection.
Government Officials: Rep. Larry Combest (TX) and Rep. Gil Gutknecht (MN) · Pray for your Church · Country: Venezuela (23 million) on the northern coast of South America · Major languages: Spanish and Indian dialects · Religious freedom · 94% Roman Catholic; 1% Protestant; 1% Indian pagan religions · Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord amidst trouble and He will deliver you (Psalms 91:15).
Optional Reading: John 11
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:15