This week, while reading 66 Ways God Loves You by Jennifer Rothschild, I came across this passage from the book of Numbers that made me pause and think...
“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come over Jordan into the land of Canaan; Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment. And of these cities which ye shall give six cities shall ye have for refuge. Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge. These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither.”
~ Numbers 35:10-15 KJV
Wait, wait, wait... Back up, Moses. Cities of refuge? For the manslayers? The murderers? Even if they're strangers or sojourners and not among the chosen people the Israelites?
Yep, that's what God said. He loves and cares for them too.
Chances are, no one reading this has actually killed another human being (although it is possible, I suppose). But aren't all sins equal in God's eyes? They are.
Murder, thievery, adultery, covetousness, profanity, lies... They're all just as bad. Just as black and defiling.
Filthy. Dirty. Ugly.
But still forgivable.
Just as these six cities were there for the Israelites and other people of this day, in the same way is God our city of refuge in the present day. Psalms 46:1 proclaims, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Our refuge, our strength. Present, willing, and able to help us in our trouble. No matter the magnitude of your sins, He can forgive them. He loves us with a deep fervency that we with our simple human minds can hardly begin to comprehend it.
And yet, when we run to God in times of trouble, when we have wronged Him so terribly, He will never turn us away. John 6:37 promises it. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
If you go to Him with a humble heart, truly wanting Him and His blessed comfort, peace, and salvation, He will be there. No sin is too great, no problem too large or complex, that our Heavenly Father can't handle it.
Run to Him and take refuge in the shadow of His wings. For He is faithful that promised (Heb. 10:23)