Series: Learning Victory From Joshua Dr. Elmer Towns
Lesson 16: The Cities of Refuge Picture Christ November 4, 2012
A. MANY PICTURES OF CHRIST IN OLD TESTAMENT: JOSHUA 20:1-9
1. Brazen serpent (Num. 21:8), Christ became our sin (John 3:14).
2. Tabernacle, our way to God.
3. Sacrificial lamb, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
4. The Cities of Refuge, our security in Christ.
“God had said to Moses in the wilderness, establish 6 cities of refuge. If anyone kills another unintentionally he can run to one of these cities for protection from the relatives of the one who was killed, who may try to avenge the killing. The one fleeing can explain to the authorities of the city what happened. If the avenging relative comes to the city, the elders must not release the one they seek to them. The one who flees to that city must stay in that city and be tried by those in that city. If he is found innocent of first degree murder, he shall stay in that city until the death of the high priest. Then he is free to return home” (Joshua 20:1-6, Amplified).
B. THE CITIES OF REFUGE
1. God planned our safety long before we needed it. Moses wrote of the cities 40 years before entering the land. “The lamb was slain before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
2. Accessible. They were within one day’s journey.
3. High, to be seen from a long distance. “Give…suburbs for the cities” (Num. 35:3)
4. To be safe and live in protection. “These towns will be their home…the surrounding lands will provide pasture for their cattle” (Num. 35:3, LB).
5. Protection 24/7. “Round the clock protection. The blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son cleanses from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
6. Road signs pointed to the cities. The creation of sun and moon and stars, “Let them be signs” (Gen. 1:14).
7. All God’s people knew where cities were located. “Instruct the people” (Num. 35:2, LB)
8. The city gave protection, shelter, and provision from revenge. Christ is our protection from judgment (Rom. 8:32-34), our shelter in the storm (Ps. 9:9), and the provision of our needs (Phil. 4:19).
9. We all need a “city of refuge” because we are all sinners. “For all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23, 1:28, 32).
10. There were 6 cities; six is number of limited man.
11. The meaning of the names of the 6 cities: Kadesh (sanctuary), Shechem (shoulder), Hebron (fellowship), Bezer (fortress), Ramoth (exaltation), Golan (joy). All the names of Jesus reveal all He does for us.
12. The cities of Refuge are a picture of Christ and His church.
C. JESUS IS OUR CITY OF REFUGE
1. You have to flee; you must go to Christ. “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
2. You will be received. “The one who comes to me, I will not cast out” (Jn. 6:37).
3. You can’t work out your problems yourself, you need help.