Jesus - Your refuge and salvation!
Joshua 20:1-9 THE CITIES OF REFUGE: A PICTURE OF OUR SALVATION!
Where do we run to when we are in trouble? OUR TRIALS SHOULD MAKE US RUN STRAIGHT INTO THE ARMS OF OUR FATHER GOD. It is these cities of refuge that I want to consider. They paint for us a clear picture of the salvation that is to be found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I. V. 1-3 THE PURPOSE OF THESE CITIES
A. They Were To Serve As A Refuge: Salvation - It is clear from these verses that these cities were to be set up to protect the person who had accidentally taken the life of another person. Therefore, when a man had accidentally taken the life of another, he could flee to one of these 6 cities of refuge and there, if it was determined that the death had indeed been an accident, he could find safety from the "avenger of blood." So, these cities were established as a refuge.
B. They Were To Serve As A Reminder: Service - For our sake, these cities serve to point out certain facts about the salvation we enjoy in the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as these were place were a man could flee in a time of desperate need, so Jesus is a place of safety for us.
II. V. 1 THE PROVISION OF THESE CITIES
A. They Were Provided By God - Man did not come up with the idea for these cities. This was a notion that was birthed in the heart and mind of God. Jesus Christ is also the gift of God! Remember what the Bible says about Him, John 3:16?
B. They Were Provided By Grace -
God, in His grace He made a way that those folks who had accidentally taken the life of another might find refuge and help.
III. V. 4-6, 9 THE POWER OF THESE CITIES
A. They Had Power To Save - When the man-slayer arrived in the city, his case was heard by the elders and if it was determined that the death had indeed been an accident, he was given a place within the city and was protected from the avenger of blood.
B. They Had Power To Secure - Notice that as long as the person stayed within the city he was safe. He could live there until the day of judgement and for as long as the high priest lived and when the high priest died, the man-slayer was free to return home without fear.
C. Their Power Was Sufficient - The cities of refuge would work for all those who fled to them. They were sufficient for the need!
IV. V. 7-9 THE POSITION OF THESE CITIES
A. They Were Available To All - God provided 6 cities of refuge. There were three east of the Jordan and three west of the Jordan. They were placed so that there was not tribe that was too far from a city of refuge. They were available to everyone no matter where they were or who they were! Whether the man-slayer was a son or a stranger, there was a city of refuge open for him.
B. They Were Accessible To All - Just as these cities were spaced all over the country and were available to every Israelite, they were also accessible to every person.
V. V. 7-8 THE PICTURE IN THESE CITIES
There Is A Picture In Their Names - These six cities paint a wonderful picture of the provisions of God which are our's through the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Kadesh - Righteousness - Isa. 64:4; 2 Cor. 5:21 (Ill. A refuge for the unclean!)
2. Shechem - Shoulder - Luke 15:3-7 (Ill. A refuge for that one lost in the wilderness of sin.)
3. Hebron - Fellowship - 1 John 1:7 (Il. A refuge for the lonely sinner!)
4. Bezer - Fortress - Heb. 18:2 (Ill. A refuge for the helpless sinner.)
5. Ramoth - Heights - Eph. 2:6 (Ill. A refuge for the wretched sinner!)
6. Golan - Joy - 1 Peter 1:8 (Ill. A refuge for the downcast.)
Conclusion: If you are tired of running from your sins and of feeling trapped in a hopeless situation, I would like to invite you to surrender your life to Jesus. You can come to Him and ask His forgiveness by faith, He will save your soul and take you to Heaven when you leave this world.