January 24, 2023
DAY 24 JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
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Focus Verses for Today: Joshua 20:1-9
Continuing our journey through the book of Joshua, we see that God has a plan – a detailed plan!
Take a moment and pray, asking for understanding of today’s reading. Read Joshua 16-20. Let’s journey!
Joshua 16-20: The first four chapters in our reading today detail the distribution of the Promised Land to the people of the 12 tribes of Israel. You may want to look at a map from your Bible and see the areas each of the 12 tribes were given. The final chapter deals with protecting people who have killed someone until it is determined if the death was an accident or intentional. There were six Cities of Refuge set about Israel in a manner that no matter where you were you could get to one in a day. The trails to the City of Refuge were marked with signs and diligently maintained. It was apparent that everyone understood the importance of the Cities of Refuge and the importance of getting to them if necessary. The Cities of Refuge protected the wrongly accused and the avengers of blood from becoming murderers. (Joshua 16:1-20:9)
Our focus verses for today are the entirety of chapter 20:
Then the Lord said to Joshua: 2“Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, 3so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood. 4When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city. Then the elders are to admit the fugitive into their city and provide a place to live among them. 5If the avenger of blood comes in pursuit, the elders must not surrender the fugitive, because the fugitive killed their neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought. 6They are to stay in that city until they have stood trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest who is serving at that time. Then they may go back to their own home in the town from which they fled.”
7So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. 8East of the Jordan (on the other side from Jericho) they designated Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh. 9Any of the Israelites or any foreigner residing among them who killed someone accidentally could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly. (Joshua 20:1-9, NIV)
Our focus verses today, look at the Six Cities of Refuge and explain their importance. The Cities of Refuge are important because God values life in a way that human understanding cannot comprehend. The Cities of Refuge recognize that accidents happen, sometimes resulting in the death of an innocent person. The Cities of Refuge protect people who either killed, or have been accused of, killing someone from the avengers of blood (typically the family of victim), until it can be determined if the death was an intentional killing, murder, or an unintended killing, accidental death. God wanted people to have time to cool off, especially in cases involving a death. Take some time to reflect on the great lengths God goes to protect the wrongly accused while also seeking justice. How is God speaking to you?
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