The City of Refuge
. . . A refuge from the avenger of blood.
It is said that in the land of Canaan, cities of refuge were so arranged that any man might reach one of them within half a day at the most. In the same way the word of our salvation is near to us; Jesus is a present Savior, and the way to Him is short. It is but a simple renunciation of our own merit and a laying hold of Jesus to be our all in all. With regard to the roads to the city of refuge, we are told that they were strictly preserved, every river was bridged, and every obstruction removed, so that the man who fled might find an easy passage to the city.
Once a year the elders went along the roads to check on their condition, so that nothing might impede the flight of anyone and cause them, through delay, to be overtaken and slain. How graciously do the promises of the Gospel remove stumbling blocks from the way! Wherever there were junctions and turnings, there were signposts clearly stating, "To the city of refuge!"
This is a picture of the road to Christ Jesus. It is no roundabout road of the law; it is no obeying this, that, and the other; it is a straight road: "Believe, and live." It is a road so hard that no self-righteous man can ever tread it, but so easy that every sinner who knows himself to be a sinner may by it find his way to heaven. As soon as the man seeking refuge reached the outskirts of the city, he was safe; it was not necessary for him to be beyond the walls—the suburbs themselves were sufficient protection.
Learn from this that if you merely touch the hem of Christ's garment, you shall be made whole; if you can only lay hold upon him with "faith as a grain of mustard seed," you are safe.
A little genuine grace ensures
The death of all our sins
So waste no time; do not dillydally, for the avenger of blood moves quickly; and it could be that he is at your heels even this evening.
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