Joshua 20:1

 

The Bible says in Joshua 20:1-9, “The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying,[2] Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:[3] That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.[4] And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.[5] And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.[6] And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.[7] And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjath-arba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.[8] And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.[9] These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.” In verse one we see that God spoke to Joshua, and then Joshua took the Lord’s message to the people. That is how preaching works today in the sense that God has given His Word, and a preacher takes God’s Word and opens it up and delivers it to the people. These verses talk about the cities of refuge that God provided for anyone who “killeth any person unawares.” Unintended consequences are very common. We all have that. Some unintended consequences can be drastic like the one mentioned here: death. There are arguments, condemnations, disagreements, separations and many other terrible things because of unintended consequences. What do you do if such a thing happens to you? Run to the refuge. What is our refuge in the day in which we live? Jesus is our refuge. We must learn to run to Him for everything in our lives. Many of the sins that we commit are also unintended. That is how weak and sinful we are. If Jesus is our refuge, we will “not die by the hand of the avenger of blood.”

 

The Bible says in Joshua 21:1-10, “Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel;[2] And they spake unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The LORD commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle.[3] And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the LORD, these cities and their suburbs.[4] And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, which were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.[5] And the rest of the children of Kohath had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Ephraim, and out of the tribe of Dan, and out of the half tribe of Manasseh, ten cities.[6] And the children of Gershon had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Issachar, and out of the tribe of Asher, and out of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the half tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities.[7] The children of Merari by their families had out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities.[8] And the children of Israel gave by lot unto the Levites these cities with their suburbs, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.[9] And they gave out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, these cities which are here mentioned by name,[10] Which the children of Aaron, being of the families of the Kohathites, who were of the children of Levi, had: for theirs was the first lot.” The priests and Levites came to Joshua, and notice what they said to him in verse two, “The LORD commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in.” The people knew what God had said, and then the people took steps to make sure that God’s will happened. That is exactly how we are supposed to do things. We read the Bible in the New Testament how the Lord wants things done, and then we make an effort to do things that way. For example, it says in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” And also Jesus described the basic church in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Once you know that these things are taught by God in the Bible to Christians, then you will either become a part of a Bible teaching church in your community, or you will start one.

 

The Bible says in Joshua 21:11-45, “And they gave them the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron, in the hill country of Judah, with the suburbs thereof round about it.
[12] But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, gave they to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for his possession.
[13] Thus they gave to the children of Aaron the priest Hebron with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Libnah with her suburbs,[14] And Jattir with her suburbs, and Eshtemoa with her suburbs,[15] And Holon with her suburbs, and Debir with her suburbs,[16] And Ain with her suburbs, and Juttah with her suburbs, and Beth-shemesh with her suburbs; nine cities out of those two tribes.[17] And out of the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with her suburbs, Geba with her suburbs,[18] Anathoth with her suburbs, and Almon with her suburbs; four cities.[19] All the cities of the children of Aaron, the priests, were thirteen cities with their suburbs.[20] And the families of the children of Kohath, the Levites which remained of the children of Kohath, even they had the cities of their lot out of the tribe of Ephraim.[21] For they gave them Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Gezer with her suburbs,[22] And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Beth-horon with her suburbs; four cities.[23] And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with her suburbs, Gibbethon with her suburbs,[24] Aijalon with her suburbs, Gath-rimmon with her suburbs; four cities.[25] And out of the half tribe of Manasseh, Tanach with her suburbs, and Gath-rimmon with her suburbs; two cities.[26] All the cities were ten with their suburbs for the families of the children of Kohath that remained.[27] And unto the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the other half tribe of Manasseh they gave Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Beesh-terah with her suburbs; two cities.[28] And out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her suburbs,
[29] Jarmuth with her suburbs, En-gannim with her suburbs; four cities.[30] And out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal with her suburbs, Abdon with her suburbs,[31] Helkath with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs; four cities.[32] And out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Hammoth-dor with her suburbs, and Kartan with her suburbs; three cities.[33] All the cities of the Gershonites according to their families were thirteen cities with their suburbs.[34] And unto the families of the children of Merari, the rest of the Levites, out of the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with her suburbs, and Kartah with her suburbs,[35] Dimnah with her suburbs, Nahalal with her suburbs; four cities.[36] And out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer with her suburbs, and Jahazah with her suburbs,[37] Kedemoth with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs; four cities.[38] And out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Mahanaim with her suburbs,[39] Heshbon with her suburbs, Jazer with her suburbs; four cities in all.[40] So all the cities for the children of Merari by their families, which were remaining of the families of the Levites, were by their lot twelve cities.[41] All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs.[42] These cities were every one with their suburbs round about them: thus were all these cities.[43] And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.[44] And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.[45] There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass
.” Notice the first part of verse forty-three, “And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers.” A statement like that in the Bible does not surprise us. God always keeps His promises. And God blesses the efforts of His children when they walk with Him and go His way. That is why it says in verse forty-four, “And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers.” And of course, it is very important to notice that verse forty-four also says, “there stood not a man of all their enemies before them.” God has promised to fight our battles for us, to defeat our enemies, and to take vengeance on those who do wrong. That is exactly what happened for the Israelites, and that is exactly what happens for every believer. Why do you think Jesus will come and fight the Battle of Armageddon? And then finally verse forty-five says, “There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” It says, “all came to pass.” Do not ever think that God only keeps some of His promises: “all came to pass.” As you read the Bible, find God’s promises. You can believe them, and you can rely on them. God’s promises can be the foundation of your life. God’s promises can be the basis for what you decide to do in a given situation and why. If you rely on God’s promises, throughout your life you will say the same thing over and over: “all came to pass.”     

 

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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