There was no sign of any physical violence, but the regular rolling of the eyes and the constant verbal abuse, made an evening meal feel like a war zone.
Reference: v. 6 “Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone may flee. In addition, give them forty-two other towns.” (TNIV Bible)
Explore: Have you ever witnessed a hostile conversation? Friends of mine were having some difficulties in their marriage and every time I caught up with them I felt like I was in the middle of a hostile environment. They constantly niggled at each other and could never be seen to agree with the other person’s opinion. There was no sign of any physical violence, but the regular rolling of the eyes and the constant verbal abuse, made an evening meal feel like a war zone. I would always leave feeling exhausted and sad.
Application: When the Israelites were settling into their new land, God commanded them to set up cities of refuge for people who found themselves in a hostile situation. This was not a place where people could hide from their responsibilities, but a refuge until their case was heard. It is no surprise that God would allow a place of safety to people in need. This is a reminder to us that we also have a place of refuge when we are in need. Thousands of years ago the Israelites had an actual physical place, however, we are now given the assurance that God is our refuge and our strength. While people find a place of worship as a building of refuge, it is comforting for us to know that we can always draw on God’s comfort no matter where we are. When we are witnessing or experiencing a hostile environment we can hold onto the hope that God is our refuge.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for being our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Amen.
How do you find refuge in God?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.