Monday, May 2, 2011

Numbers 35 - Allotment for the Levites and the Cities of Refuge
LINK: Numbers 35


The Levites were ministers in the tabernacle and received a tenth from the people. They were also given 48 cities. Six of these cities were cities of refuge. If a person killed someone accidentally, he could run to them and find impartial judges in the Levites. These cities were needed because there was an ancient custom of justice that called for revenge in the event of the death of a relative or loved one (2 Samuel 14:7). The Levites would judge. If the death was accidental, the person would stay in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest at which time the person could go free and start a new life free from the worry of being killed by the avenger. If it was not an accident, the person would be delivered over to the avenger(s).


In the ancient avenging culture, an innocent person was not protected, but God is a God of justice. While God did not want them to overlook the murder if there really was wrongdoing, He wanted a fair trial before there was a rush to judgement. What a good word for all of us that we need to be fair and impartial and listen to all sides of a story carefully before we jump to conclusions and assume guilt.

The Scarlet Thread of Redemption

Just as the person who accidentally murdered had cities of refuge in which he could go, Jesus is our Savior of Refuge! There are many parallels: they were both established by God, necessary to save from death, accessible to all, and all-sufficient for salvation.


I thought of three applications from this passage:

1) The Levites were supported by the tithes of the people just as our pastors and missionaries are supported by us! Are you supporting your "Levites"?

2) God apportioned up the land before the Israelites had entered it. We are talking about thousands of square miles. What a challenge to believe God! God may be knocking on the door of your heart to go forward with something, but you just do not see how it could be humanly possible. Claim Luke 1:37 and go forward in faith!

3) Are there any people you have been quick to judge because you heard just one side of the story? Pray that God will help you to be discerning and impartial in your judgment of people. If you are one of those people who have been quickly judged, take heart, Jesus is you Savior of refuge, and God is the ultimate impartial Judge!


Lord, Your Word is so rich! You think of everything. Help us to go forward in faith when You direct us to do something that seems humanly impossible. Help us also to be slow to judge people and quick to protect the innocent. Help us to discern truth from lies. Most of all, thank You that Jesus is our Savior of refuge. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.
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