The Cities of Refuge
Joshua 20:1-9
The LORD also spoke to Joshua, saying,…

I. The persons for whom the cities of refuge were provided were in CIRCUMSTANCES OF IMMINENT DANGER.

1. The danger of man arises from sin and transgression against the authority of that law which God revealed for the personal rule and obedience of man, it being an essential arrangement in the Divine government that the infraction of the law should expose to the infliction of punishment.

2. The peril of man which thus arises from sin affects and involves his soul, which is pursued by justice as the avenger, and is exposed to the infliction of a future state of torment, the nature and intensity of which it is beyond the possibility of any finite mind to conceive, and the duration of which is restricted by no limits, but is coeval with eternity itself.

3. The peril of man thus arising from transgression and affecting and involving his soul applies not to a small portion, but extends to every individual of the species.

II. The persons for whom these cities of refuge were provided were furnished with AMPLE DIRECTIONS AND FACILITIES TO REACH THEM.

1. The clearness with which the offices of the Lord Jesus Christ, in their adaptation to the condition of man, are revealed.

2. The nature of the method by which in their saving application and benefit the Saviour's offices are to be applied.

III. The persons for whom cities of refuge were provided became on reaching them ASSURED OF INVIOLABLE SECURITY.

1. The grounds of this security; it arises from sources which render it unassailable and perfect. There is the faithfulness of the promise of the Father, which God has repeatedly addressed to His people; there is the efficacy of the mediation of the Son; and there is the pledge of the influences of the Holy Spirit.

2. The blessings involved in this security. And here we have not so much a comparison as a contrast. He who fled for refuge, after he had become a homicide, to the appointed asylum in the cities of Israel, became by necessity the subject of much privation. He was secure, but that was all, inasmuch, it is evident, that he was deprived of home, of kindred, of freedom, and of all those tender and endearing associations which are entwined around the heart of the exile, and the memory of which causes him to pine away, and oftentimes to die. But in obtaining, by the mediation and work of Christ, security from the perils of the wrath to come, we find that the scene of our security is the scene of privilege, of liberty, and of joy.

IV. If the persons for whom the cities of refuge were provided removed or were found away from them they were JUSTLY LEFT TO PERISH. There is a Saviour, but only one; an atonement, but only one; a way to heaven, but only one; and when once we have admitted the great fact with regard to the reason of the Saviour's incarnation and sacrifice on the Cross and His ascension into heaven, we are by necessity brought to the conclusion and shut up to the confirmed belief of this truth, that "neither is there salvation in any other, for there-is none other name," &c.

(James Parsons.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying,

WEB: Yahweh spoke to Joshua, saying,

The Cities of Refuge
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