03 Cities of Refuge Deut 4:41-43, 19:1-10

03 Cities of Refuge Deut 4:41-43, 19:1-10

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Sermon outline

Cities of Refuge

        1. Ancient Context of Justice
          1. The ancient world was a world of revenge.
          2. A problem: What if you didn’t purposefully kill the person? (Dt 19:5)
          3. But God intended Israel to be different from the nations around her. (Dt 4:6)
          4. Therefore, God needed to establish a different form of legal system among his people
        2. Purpose: To establish Justice in the Land (Num 35:26-28)
        3. Locations of the cities (Dt 4:43, 19:2-3, 19:8-9, Josh 20:7)

What’s the connection between the First 2 Commandments and the Cities of Refuge?

        1. 2nd Table of the Law flows from 1st Table
          1. 10 Commandments have been traditionally referred to as the 2 tablets of the Law (Ex 34:1)
          2. Implication: Impossible to build a just society upon secular religion or false religion
        2. Justice involves punishing Guilty not the Innocent
          1. Right Worship leads to the right magnitude of punishment based on the intentions of the person (Dt 4:41, Job 24:14, Num 35:28)
            1. The gospel implications (Hebrews 4:14-5:9, 7:1-8:13)
            2. Right worship leading to scaled punishment
          2. Right worship leads to the protection of the innocent (Num 35:24-25)
            1. Implications for us today:
              1. Trial by Jury (Num 35:24-25)
              2. Courts of Appeals are modern day equivalents of Cities of Refuge
              3. Bonds
              4. Innocence until Proven Guilty
            2. Does God only care about those falsely accused/pursued of a crime they didn’t intentionally commit or does his concern from the protection of the innocent transcend this?
              1. We need systems to protect the innocent
                1. Abused women and Children
                2. Asylum seekers from other countries who are fleeing “avengers of blood” from political and religious persecution
              2. And we need these systems until the day when Christ returns
          3. Our Hope


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