by Terry J. Hallock

Our City of Refuge
T. J. Hallock
Joshua 20:1-6
March 16, 2003

We're all searching for a city of refuge. As Hebrews 13:14 puts it, "For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come." We give God thanks for the safe return of Elizabeth Smart, the 15-year-old Utah girl kidnapped from her home 9 months ago. We're so grateful that she is once again in the refuge of her family's arms. Yet there are 800,000 missing and exploited children in our nation still looking for a city.

If we have families that love us and friends that cherish us we ought to be so grateful to be surrounded by the tender sheltering walls of those relationships. Yet there are countless others whose families have never spoken the language of love and whose inventory of life contains no genuine friends. They're still looking for a city.

We ought to be thankful if our minds our not filled with debilitating guilt because of past mistakes. We ought to give praise if our spirits are not crushed by abuse. We ought to give the Lord glory if our souls are not scarred by self-destructive addiction or if our thoughts are not constantly dominated by great fear. Yet there are others still looking for a city where their guilt can be cleansed, their spirits renewed and their souls restored.

As this world stands on the brink of war there is not a one of us who is not gazing toward the horizon looking for that city where men shall beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks, and study war no more. We're all looking for a city.

My brothers and sisters, God has built that city. Beginning with His plans for the cities of refuge Joshua was commanded to build for his day allow me to show you the city God has constructed for our day.

Joshua 20 tells us several things about the Old Testament cities of refuge. First, the city of refuge was anointed and appointed by God to give shelter from the blood avenger. If a person accidentally and ...

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