Chapter 19 records again the cities of refuge. We have already seen that they were protection for those who were guilty of causing accidental death, what is today called manslaughter. Moses had already set aside three such cities east of Jordan (Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan). Later, Joshua set aside three cities west of Jordan (Kedesh, Shechem, and Hebron). All six were Levitical cities, included in the Levites' 48 cities given in Numbers 35:6. Chapter 20 records the rules of warfare. Those who had built a new house, planted a new vineyard, were newly married, or fainthearted were to be excused from military service.
Chapter 21 records various laws and instructions. In verses 1-9 the law is given in connection with an unknown murder. Bloodguiltiness of this sort had to be atoned for by killing a heifer in a deserted valley, and by the elders and Levites washing their hands over the dead animal.
Our reading today again emphasizes the fact that God is a jealous God. As His Word was explicit to the children of Israel, so it is to men today. It is His desire that His people worship Him only and follow Him explicitly. If we disobey, then we will be chastened. He is an all-loving God, but He is also a just God. He hates sin, but loves the sinner. He sent His only begotten Son to die in our place. It is His desire that every man be saved, but when one rejects the wonderful gift of His Son, he will be eternally separated from God. Also, when a child of God sins, fellowship with God is broken and the happiness and joy of Christian living departs until that child comes to a point of repentance, and allows God to restore the joy of salvation to him.
Index of Daily Devotions