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Bible Pathways - Feb. 28, 2008


February 28

Numbers 34

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Without hesitation, the "Master MapMaker" lays out the boundaries of the land that He gave His people. Look how He provides for those who dedicate their lives to His service. Be sure to read how God deals with manslaughter in these two chapters.

God provided cities of refuge to protect those who had unintentionally killed someone. Among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites there shall be six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the manslayer (35:6).

Even if the act was proven to be accidental, the manslayer was to remain in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest. As long as he was there, he was protected from the avenger (the nearest male relative of the victim). But if he left the city before the high priest died, he could legally be put to death. The death of the high priest "atoned" for the manslayer and pictured Christ's death to atone for our sins. The manslayer was then to leave as a free person with no fear of being put to death.

However, if the incident was proven to be deliberate murder, the guilty person was turned over to the avenger to be put to death. God said to spare the life of a guilty murderer would defile the nation, for the murderer not only had destroyed one who was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), but he also had intentionally taken from God His authority over that life.

In the New Testament, Christ revealed that hate and anger are sinful since they often lead to murder (Matthew 5:21-22). God expects more from His followers, who have been saved by the blood of His Son, than merely refraining from murder. He expects us to love others even as He loves us (John 13:34). God demands the highest respect for human life, for man was created in His image.

Thought for Today:

Without the laws of God to protect us, the human race could not survive.

Christ Revealed:

By the cities of refuge (Numbers 35:6). Christ is our Refuge from the judgment of God and the curse of the Law. We . . . have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us . . . even Jesus (Hebrews 6:18-20).

Word Studies:

34:3 Salt Sea =Dead Sea; 34:5 fetch a compass =take a turn toward; 34:5 goings out =end; 34:6 Great Sea =Mediterranean Sea; 34:8 goings forth =boundary; 34:11 Chin'ne-reth =Galilee; 35:2 suburbs =open land; 35:11 unawares =unintentionally; 35:15 stranger =foreigner; sojourner =one who lived temporarily; 35:16 smite =strike; 35:20 thrust =maliciously shove; 35:26 come without =goes beyond; 35:31 satisfaction =ransom.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning PrayerStaff: Michael Sharp • Government Official: Gov. Togiola Tulafono (American Samoa) • Country: Ecuador (13 million) in South America, crossed by the equator • Major language: Spanish • Religious freedom • 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Examine yourself. Has prosperity dulled your willingness to sacrifice (Haggai 1:4)?

Optional Reading: Luke 15

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:6

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