My Safe Place of Refuge

Leah DiPascal

Day: 19 | Plan: Deuteronomy

Today's Reading: Deuteronomy 19

Deuteronomy 19:2 (NIV) Then set aside for yourselves three cities in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess.

Imagine having a place you could run to every time someone tried to harm you.

Picture a protective sanctuary where you could escape harsh words, brutal actions and jarred accusations. A sacred shelter which covered you from violent threats and physical abuse.

In today’s reading, Moses instructs the people of Israel to set up places just like this called cities of refuge. There would be three cities east of the Jordan River and then three more once they settled in the land west of the Jordan River. The six chosen cities were Kedesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Ramoth and Golan. (Joshua 20:7-8)

These were not just any cities, but special cities of refuge where any tribe member could flee in the event they accidentally and unintentionally killed another person.

It was a place of safety, designated for a special purpose and period of time, until the accused person was able to have a fair trial declaring him not guilty of murder.

These cities were evenly located throughout Canaan so that anyone would have accessibility from anywhere within the Promised Land.

A city of refuge helped prevent any revenge motivated deaths from occurring in what was already a tragic situation.

It was like a safeguarding barrier that kept the “avenger of blood” from taking matters into his own hands by trying to eliminate his target—the accused person. (Numbers 35:22-25)

But in order for the accused to be protected, he had to stay inside the city of refuge. If at anytime he went outside the city limits and the avenger found him and killed him, the avenger wouldn’t be guilty of his act, because the accused was instructed to remain inside the city. (Numbers 35:26-28)

Just like those cities were a place of security and protection back then, our amazing God is a place of refuge for us today.

Every season in life comes with its fair share of troubles. Sometimes they’re placed on us unexpectedly without any warning. Other times we can be the bearer of our own problems. Instead of trying to combat troubles in our own strength and search out God as a last resort, our first inclination should always be to seek God first as our refuge. 

God is the safest haven we can run to. Our security is found in His presence.

Are you feeling weary and tired of the constant chase? Find shelter and rest within His presence of grace.

Maybe you’re wrestling with fears or worried of what the future may hold? God is your strong citadel, a mighty fortress that will keep you protected on all sides.

Friend, there are many places in Scripture that remind us how God is our refuge. Here are just a few: 

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7).

“My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior” (2 Samuel 22:3a).

“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8).

“Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Psalm 57:1).

With God as our refuge, we can always find safety in Him. He protects us, shelters us and keeps us secure.

When we run to the Lord for help, He always grants us access into His sanctuary of love and rest.

His borders are always open to the brokenhearted, the weak, the accused and the rejected.

And no matter what we’ve done or haven’t done right, He is always there to welcome us with open arms of love and acceptance.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for being my secure shelter and place of refuge. When I’m weary, worried and running from harm, You are always there, inviting me into Your sanctuary of love and acceptance. I’m so grateful that because of Jesus, I’m no longer called accused but declared innocent and washed completely clean of my sins. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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