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Refuge and Influence (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
November 6, 2020 6:00 am

Refuge and Influence (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 6, 2020 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of Joshua (Joshua 20-21)

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As road builders and road workers gospel keep the road open to we can close up the roads stumble, we can become just carnal, so Carl wants to hear the gospel's best in your workplace MSN office environment. Is there year in year out and the people are you know the challenges that people bring being sinners and if you're not careful you can ruin your witness.

This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston.

Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Joshua. Please stay with us after today's message here. More information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Joshua chapter 7, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Joshua chapter 20 as he begins his message refuge and influence. Go right to verse one. Yahweh also spoke to Joshua, saying speak to the children of Israel single point for yourselves cities of refuge which I spoke to you through Moses in verse one, where it says that the Lord also spoke to Joshua over 100 times. We read mainly in the first five books of the Bible, the Lord spoke to Moses over 100 times I find that outstanding verse two where he says speak to the children of Israel single point for yourselves cities of refuge as I spoke to you through Moses because God did speak to Moses that great man of God so much. Now, the initial conquest is behind them. They have subdued the land.

There's really no large-scale military threat that they are concerned with at this point Satan enjoys that because Satan knows the people are still present, and they have an evil influence and he's going to use that influence over time, but what matters is what does the individual do in the midst of it is that individual going to be strong or is that individual going to flow downstream with all the dead fish and succumb to the influences of the idols in pagan gods, and all the other things that are forbidden six cities will be special cities of the 48 that are given to the Levites will open this just up a little bit. Hopefully it's not going to be confusing.

If this is foreign to you but this cities of refuge places to run for your life.

After you've made a terrible mistake. That's with the city of refuge is if you're out here driving doing donuts with your car out in the field and you accidentally run your neighbor over over and kill him was an accident, maybe a little reckless.

His family has the right to come and kill you.

So you better run for your life. And so we need to talk about this little bit. They were these three cities, three on the east side of the Jordan, the Transjordan side and then three on the west side so everyone had a chance to make it would've been a good idea to stay in shape. In those days in case it was an accident she could out run the avenger of blood to find the asylum that God had made available now if you intentionally killed someone, it would do you know benefit you would get there, tired, and then be executed, tired, and that would be it. In those days, blood feuds were in. You know little bit more easy to come by and of these cities that when this concept originate numbers chapter 35 so got it already given it to Moses and the Jews just kinda sat on it in the record is filed into the Scriptures them, but now there in the land and they've subdued it and they have to set these cities up one very diligent historian/commentator looking over the writings of the ancient Jews has said that the roads were maintained that lit led to the cities of refuge.

They were free of significant hills and fallen trees or rubble or anything that would impede the person that was fleeing to the cities if there was a river or stream they would make sure there were bridges enough to cross over and also that at the turnings posted were signs city of refuge 5 miles road markers so that you would be able to find your way in a time of panic or if you would just not familiar with the land and they were spread as I mentioned throughout the land, they were accessible. Of course it speaks to us of Christ, of course, in all of these cities of refuge with that were so meaningful to the Jews. We Christians look back with our New Testament theology.

Theology was in the way of salvation is going to Christ, he is our refuge from any killer anything that would cause us great harm. We run to him and Beth drove people to the cities of refuge.

Death drives people to Jesus Christ. Maybe not the physical death of someone eternal death, damnation, condemnation, rejection by God Almighty. That's why we come to him. Why else would wait. What if there were no consequence to rejecting Christ would come. There are consequences. God knows that and so he baked it into creation so that the fool has said in his heart there is no God and pays that penalty but the wise soul read possibly foolish in other areas of their life, but not foolish when it comes to God chooses salvation.

There was no neutral ground for the fleeing individual couldn't get to a halfway point and pull over at sort, you know like one of the scenic pullovers on the road or historic communal marker you had to make it all the way and he had to make it inside the city. There you would be tried to see if you if the act was committed intentionally or not. If it was intentional.

Of course, then your sentence and executed and if not then you would be able to remain in that city and work will come to that and I want to get too much ahead of myself is that I get all tangled up and start repeating things and I know that might be one of your favorite things in the world. So as I said, no neutral ground you are either in the city are not, and is so it is with Christ as it is with the cities accessible. Acts chapter 16. This is of course the story of the Philippian jailer when Paul and Silas were were caned and jailed and there in the jail singing it up I would've been thinking of other things like what I would like to do to the guy that was swinging that cane or the one that sentenced me to it. But not Paul and Silas. They were focused on their environment like we read in the song of Solomon like a lily among thorns is my beloved, I gave you. You blossom where you are. Role of the Christian is to blossom where we are planted. That is the same idea behind the Jews working the lot or the allotment that was given to them by God. And so the jailer of course, here's them praising the Lord and saw he never lightly had inmates like this before service was what must I do to be saved, because the message had been broadcast.

He knew something of the message before they got to the jail that messages probably already circulating into even the lives of the common folk such as this jailer so they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved you and your household run to that place of refuge, a like to say her friend might say years ago that on the altar call was given. He was running for it.

Couldn't wait to get it. I've heard one of you and I know you are one single you out but you told me that said he couldn't wait for the sermon to end. I heard that before so he could go and make his confessional fleeing to that city of refuge in Christ as a work of the Holy Spirit for us in those days with work common sense. If you say the kinsman who is responsible for coming to me. I can take him when he's bringing his family is not coming for you alone is bringing the village people with him. Verse three that the slayer who kills a person accidentally or unintentionally make flee there they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.

Again, God makes a distinction in degrees of guilt, there is the guilt of premeditated murder. For example, or just outright murder and then there is the tragedy of accidentally hitting someone with your car getting someone killed him on the job site. We are going to have to open this up a little bit more because it creates crash questions, but one of the things we get from this is that men are not to punish men until the inquiry has been satisfied. See what he says they shall dwell the slayer who kills a person academic or unintentionally make flee there and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.

And as we get further down we going to find find that the have to determine whether this was accident or not and that is a signal of course to us that these things have to be satisfied through due diligence, but also the priests are going to be very much present through this process. That's why these are Levitical cities. These are not only the priest but the servants of the Lord been given to the people of Israel and the message and that of course is deliverance is not without the servants of the Lord his appointed servant. You could say the anointed those chosen by God to serve the assembly to serve the congregation to perpetual principal. It is here, to this day in ancient Israel the nearest male relative, it was his duty to murder the killer and execute vengeance on them for this, which causes us to say well I thought vengeance was mine says the Lord. Before I get back get to that. Come back to it in a minute.

It is interesting that this word for the avenger of blood. The word avenger is the same Hebrew word we come across in the book of Ruth for kinsman, so it it is the responsibility of that kinsman to execute a family justice for taking a minute you know you if you if you kill a man, a husband in those days it was a critical blow to a family if they had small children without the demand worker in the field, they did things would really get become difficult for for that family. So this was a very big deal numbers 35 verse 31.

Moreover, you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death but he shall surely be put to death. So if you are guilty of you couldn't get out of it.

You would be sentenced. God, of course, overruled that very commandment at times.

One time is with David and David King David's case where he murdered Uriah and the prophet Daniel told David that God had forgiven him.

The subsequent events demonstrated that indeed God did speak to Nathan the prophet and the people knew that he was a prophet and would not dare challenge him. The consequence would have been too severe. But of course Nathan said the child will die. You will be forgiven and you can have some other problems to so these things of course lately took place of validating NAR Nathan S did need validation but the people knew this was God.

My point is God did make exceptions, the avengers of death would not be able to come and kill their king because their king had killed Uriah life gets sticky on certain levels. I mean things just get very complicated. Not everything is as is as black-and-white as we would like it to be and so often God's people don't know that her behaviors, though that's not important and they make they can make things worse, we have this special weapon in the church is called grace. It's called undeserved kindness is not without wisdom. It is not without justice. It is a very serious thing is very costly because it costs the blood of the Lamb, God the son. So this kinsman, the protector of family rights death.

That is what it means.

That's the problem that Boaz and Ruth were up against the wind bow is that while there is a near kinsman than I there is a family protector that is first in an order before me first in line 1st position. They had to go through him work out of course, these demands on justice. These limitations of course all our wives and justice in numbers 35 with the rule of the city of refuge is the first 25 verses there is justice there. But then when you get to verses 26 and 28. The revenge is permitted if the person doesn't make it to the to the city did not give license to just murder indiscriminately. Deuteronomy 32 verse 25 need to be read it right at this point.

Vengeance is mine, and recompense barefoot shelf slip in due time for the day of their calamity is at hand and the things to come hasten upon them God's design. Controlling this, but this provision in the civil law. One thing it did was act like and act as a deterrent for carelessness.

You think twice before you were reckless around other people and could harm someone because the avenger would come and get you sort of a vigilante justice that was part of the law you be justified. God also recognized that at that time in history amongst the Jews, the forces of family honor is very powerful and instead of forbidding it contained. It and used it. We ask.

Are there any cases in the Scripture where the avenger met up with the person who killed the family member and yes there is Abner and Joab and all come to that little bit also.

I've already caught up on some that I if you're if you're fact checking me of already fulfilled some of the promises so verse four and when he flees to one of those cities and stands at the entrance of the gate of that of the city and declares his case in the hearing of the elders of the city, they shall take him into the city as one of them and give him a place that he may dwell among them, so there is that due diligence becomes the city they determine okay he's innocent. This was not intentional. He can come in the city and stay the historians tell us that they would die if they did not have a trade they would be given part of the trade so that they could provide for themselves and the than but again if they were guilty they were. They were executed or turned over to the avenger who would strike the first blow verse 20 then if the avenger of blood pursues him, they shall not deliver the slayer into his hand because he struck his neighbor unintentionally, but did not hate him beforehand. Deuteronomy 19 tells us that the Jews had to maintain these roads had to have roads just for this reason, Deuteronomy 19. Three you shall prepare roads for yourself and defy divide into three parts.

The territory of your land which Yahweh your God is giving to you to inherit that any man slayer may flee there. So you had to again keep those roads open and the rabbis commented on this over the years and that the basis for my earlier statements about keeping these roads accessible to the cities of refuge, of course, as road builders and road workers for the gospel. We are to keep the road open to we can close up the roads we can stumble we can become just carnal. So, who wants to hear the gospel from us, especially if you're in a workplace MSN office environment. We adjust their year in year out and the people are innovative just the challenges that people bring being sinners and if you're not careful you can ruin your witness will you. You've put debris on the road that leads to refuge. Don't sell your witness. Sure don't do not think that if you've worked in a particular place for years and no one has come to you to ask about Jesus Christ does not mean that they won't does not mean that your failing could be a lot of reasons why just be ready for when the time comes and true with some some Christians enjoy quite a substantial amount of turnover activities see a lot of action when it comes to saving souls. I did is in the workplace. I would like I'd like to think that because I said I studied so much.

The Bible even before becoming a pastor read it so much that I had the ammunition I could engage either was really no argument that I could not give a defense against coming from unbelievers.

So God used me then and I know therefore that he would use anybody if they're ready will wise. Why should it be a different way. Why should God use you to share the gospel. If you are not able to articulate so this city of refuge dealers is very good stuff for us to come across here in Joshua chapter 20. Christ is our care. We are to care for lost souls that it not be said by the lost soul, and no one to care for me.

Psalm 124 down point.

The psalmist writes look on my right hand and see for there is no one who acknowledges me, refuge has failed me. No one cares for my soul. You take those words and you put them in the mouth of an unbeliever and it's a tragedy. What is the antidote for that believers spirit filled when I first became a Christian I read those words of Paul walk in the spirit that you did not into the temptations of the flesh.

I thought it was going to just be an easy fit.

It was not and it still is not, however, to give up and to abandon that and not pursue that walk in the Spirit would leave you with nothing for that lost soul in need of care. Don't be to beat up by your shortcomings. I mean on the matter. All we can never be made comfortable in sin, but at the same time, Satan can use that against us to the point where he boils us down to nothing because we've let him.

So when he accuses us of being sinners no good and rotten was that we know that Twyla Christ died for us in the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse us from all sin and it is recurrent, just like the blood that flows through your body is a cut it's good to process that's constant, so is the salvation of the Lord of the you know the legalist just kill this part of our faith that we have freedoms that we should exercise going to be effective in Christ, not giddy as a cloak for evil just stood that focus on the bigger pictures God's people never put the Canaanites completely out the land and God never threw the people out because of that they were cast out of the land because of their idolatrous practices. They did other crimes that he did for they they neglected the Sabbath. God did not shut them out of the land that he brought it back up and he penalize them with their time in captivity for but the reason why was that they went towards other gods and the perversity is always go with false ideas about God.

What an encouragement for us what he say to the woman Jesus go and sin no more. But what about those men because he called them out, they could have slain them right there aegis with when he said through the one without central the first on he knew all their sins and he doesn't even those men, those hard mean men he did not humiliate what is that say to us what would happen if David never said he was a warrior. It was a poet is as great men of God be over an overwhelming figure. Well, the cities of refuge, we find it mentioned in Hebrews and as a reminder the letter to the Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians to tell them to stop acting as though they were Hebrews and not Christian.

And in this letter. He of course ties in all that he is was points to Jesus Christ, he says. Thus, God determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nurse of his counsel, confirmed with an old gotchas and want to show you. I don't budge.

I'm making an old my word is it I'm not going to back from I will back off my word, and he continues that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation see what I was talking about a minute ago strong consolation that the blood of Jesus Christ. Satan has been no major ROI. The work Jesus Christ individual can.

What fool would do that Evan's going to be loaded with people who receive the grace of Jesus Christ, thanks for tuning into cross reference radio for this study in the book of Joshua cross reference is the teaching ministry pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

If you're interested in more information about this ministry, please visit our website cross reference find additional teachings from Pastor Rick available also encourage you to subscribe to our podcast by doing so you will be notified each new edition of cross reference radio. Just search for cross reference radio in iTunes Google play music or your favorite podcast. You could also follow the links and cross reference Glad we were able to spend time with you today due to next time to continue learning from the book of Joshua right here on cross reference radio

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