READ: Numbers 35-36
THINK: Where do you go when you need to get away? Who do you turn to for comfort, encouragement or help when you're facing extreme difficulty or trouble? We all need a safe place-a place of refuge when we've failed or blown it-when we don't have the answers or we feel like giving up. The ultimate safe "place" is a Person: God's Son, Jesus Christ. You can turn to Him wherever you are and whatever you're experiencing. Through Jesus, you have a personal relationship with the eternal God who is your constant shelter and refuge (Deuteronomy 33:27; 2 Samuel 22:3,31; Psalm 9:9; 18:2; 46:1; 62:8; 91:2; Nahum 1:7).
RESPOND: Why were the rest of the Israelites supposed to give towns and land to the Levites? What does this tell us about taking care of those who minister to us? What were the cities of refuge, and what was their purpose? (See 35:11 note.) What does this indicate about God's character and justice? What was the penalty for intentional murder (35:16-21)? What was the penalty for involuntary manslaughter (35:22-28)? How many witnesses were required to convict someone of murder (35:30)? Do you think that these standards apply today? Why or why not? What's one thing that defiled or polluted the land, and why (35:33)? (See 35:33 note.) How did this relate to God's justice, and what did it reveal about the value He places on human life?
PRAY: Praise God for His justice and mercy and for being your constant refuge-in good times and bad.
ACT: Stop by the church or the home of one of your leaders-or come early before a service-and volunteer to help with a specific task or in any way that's needed. Also, if you've treated anyone unjustly and not yet settled the issue, confess it to God and do what you can to set things right with the other person.
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