Cities of Refuge
| Before Israel
occupied Canaan they were told to declare certain cities to be cities of
refuge. The law dealing with murder was severe and the near-kin of a
murdered person had the right to exact revenge on the murderer. But
in the event of an accidental death the one who accidentally killed
another could flee to one of the six designated cities and remain there
until proper investigation was made and the city became a haven of safety.
He had to stay there, however, until the death of the high priest. But he
was safe in the city of refuge.
In one sense the church is much like the city of refuge. One is safe in the church. We can flee from the enemy, Satan, who seeks our harm, and be calmed with spiritual safety in the Lord's church. But there is no other place of refuge provided. And like the killer who had to stay in the city, so we, once coming to the church of refuge, must stay in the church to remain in safety.