Sep 08

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Under the Mosaical Law those who accidentally caused the death of another could flee for safety to one of six cities of refuge. Today, the sinner has his “city of refuge” in Christ. The analogy is distinct. Furthermore, even the very names of those cities teach valuable truths Consider:
KEDESH. This city’s name meant, “separate; set apart.” This describes Jesus (who is the soul’s city of refuge) as one who was fully set apart for the work of the Father. Jesus Himself stated, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). Such unselfishness of His own will and welfare (to our benefit) ought to compel our appreciation and loyalty.
SHECHEM. This name meant, “shoulder.” “Shoulder” indicates the bearing of another’s burden; to prop one up; to sustain. Such aptly describes Jesus. In the teaching of the lost sheep, when it was found, “he layeth it on his shoulders” (Luke 15:5)—away from the thorns, wolves and dangerous waters. Thanks be to God for the world’s wonderful shoulder.
HEBRON. The southwestern city meant, “friendly association; fellowship” We all need friends. Man is a social being. God created us that way. Unfortunately, many have (or will) encounter circumstances in which they become lonely. Who, then, is our friend? “Hebron” indicates that Jesus is our friend. He will always be there. He will never leave. It is Jesus who told us, “I say unto you my friends” (Luke 12:4; cf. John 15:12-15). Furthermore, Jesus gives us friends through Christian fellowship (Mark 10:29-30). Truly, Jesus is our friend—our true friend.
BEZER. This means, “fortified.” Likewise, Jesus is a strong defense. He is called Mighty God (Isa. 9:6). No one, not even Satan, can snatch us out of the hand of God (John 10:28). Truly, “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).
RAMOTH. Its meaning is, “exalted, eminence.” If we exalt a worthy man, how much more ought we exalt the prince and savior of our souls?! (Acts 5:31).
GOLAN. This northeast city’s name meant, “passage, transmigration.” Such aptly describes Jesus, who said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9). Yes, Jesus is the passage (John 14:6).
The six cities of refuge—an amazing description of the relation of Jesus and ourselves. May these six terms help us better our appreciation and loyalty to Jesus.

Gary Henson

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