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November 9, 2020 6:00 am
89 verse 14 righteousness and true foundation of your role, mercy and truth go before your face mercy. No one deserves mercy is not earned. Given his gift of God. Mercy means you should be sent to hell, but I'm not going to grace means that I'm going to give you heaven's mercy and grace. 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 today. Pastor Rick will continue teaching through the book of Joshua chapter 21. This message called refuge and influence.
Verse three that the slayer who kills a person accidentally or intentionally 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 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 accidentally or unintentionally made 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 killed 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. He 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 that you couldn't get out of 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 they took place with validating may 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 cost 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 boys that will 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 in justice and 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 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 needs to be read it right at this point.
Vengeance is mine, and recompense their foot shelf slip in due time for the day of their calamity is at hand and the things to come hasten upon them God's as I'm controlling this, but this provision in the civil law. One thing it did was act like to 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. He 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 if they did not have a trade they would be given a 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 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 Carl who wants to hear the gospel from us, especially if your inner workplace in the San office environment. We adjust their year in year out and the people are you know 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 true with some some Christians enjoy quite a substantial amount of turnover in activity see a lot of action when it comes to saving souls. I did is in the workplace. I would I'd 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. It 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.
I'm going to care for me. Psalm 124 down point the Psalm is rice 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 believer's spirit filled when I first became a Christian I read those words of Paul walk in the spirit that you did not end of the temptations of the flesh.
I thought I 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 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 adjuster 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 the 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 it 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 slayed them right there. Is it just went when he said through you. 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 it with an oath, gutters and want to show you. I don't budge.
I'm making an oath. My word is it I'm not going to back from my 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 no agent to destroy the work of Jesus Christ. The individual can reject it.
What fool would do that heaven is going to be loaded with people who receive the grace of Jesus Christ. It continues the strong consolation that would be a good license plate in rooms we couldn't get the words on so you you have to widen the lie simply right anyway. Strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us to see the picture he is doing. He must've been in his devotions that day so that week. He must've been somewhere in Joshua for numbers and because it really doesn't show up again in the Bible except here in Hebrews and he says you flee the Jesus Christ.
You've got to strong consolation is the hope set before you get to that city and when you get there just say forever said. Then he says this hope we have as an anchor of the soul is an inconsistency there. All of the 90s and see he's got anchors, this hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil. That's him the presence the presence of Jesus Christ the Shekinah and at the New Testament, the translators usually make take that word presence from the Greek and they translated the coming of Jesus Christ not is not incorrect, but it is the presence behind the veil with the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek, so there's a high priest and part of this picture because when you fled to the city you are stuck there until the high priest died, then you are free to leave. Legally they could not touch you.
After that, so the avenger of blood speaks of God's intolerance for sin. You killed regardless of your motive. You kill. Blood was shed Genesis chapter 9 truly your lifeblood. I will demand reckoning from the hand of every beast I will require it from the hand of man from the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, or in the image of God he made man. God is laying down the intention closer also to you know changeable things float around this, but essentially it sticks. The blood is the life of the animal shall not eat the blood, the city of refuge speaks of God's mercy.
Proverbs chapter 16 in mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity, and by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.
Your case you stop doing evil, but that's not enough.
You can't undo the wood you did, what happens to that that that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse us from all sin. The psalmist said, my strength fails because of my iniquity glasses all deal with that iniquity in my people.
It will go away. I will wash it away. So together this intolerance to us of sin and this city of refuge which is mercy speak of justification the right thing God doing the right thing because he says it's right. Some 89 verse 14 righteousness and truth of the foundation of your throne, mercy and truth go before your face mercy.
No one deserves mercy is not earned. It is given is a gift of God. Mercy means you should be sent to hell, but I'm not going to grace means, in fact, I'm going to give you heaven pets mercy and grace so tied together inseparable.
John 116 and of his fullness we have received grace for grace. Heaps and heaps of grace undeserved kindness piled atop of undeserved kindness. It is the most magnificent faith on earth.
There's nothing like this in any other religion on the planet.
Every other one you have to do something to try to find what tickles God with what he likes, where told what he likes and dislikes, we are told right out in Scripture. Often the things that God hates, but even that you know God hates the oneness sows seeds of discord amongst brethren troublemaker. He hates it. That troublemaker can find grace.
Set the whole story. Verse six and he shall dwell in that city until he stands before the congregation for judgment and until the death of the one who is high priest in those days, then the slayer may return come to his own city in his own house to the city from which he fled. It's coming up before you what if you kill the guy in the next day, the high priest docket was only have I just be here for the night so the high priest is directly associated with refuge and rest restoration and that's what was being said in Hebrews chapter 6 read just read from a moment ago that strong consolation in the high priest behind the veil our Jesus Christ, not according to the ironic line, but according to Melchizedek's line superior priesthood because justice is a spiritual matter. That's why God has to be very much a part of it and his priest is the representative his deputy. When the high priest died man was free, while one that our high priest died. He died on Calvary at the cross Golgotha. That's where he died and rose again so he lives. Hebrews chapter 3.
Therefore, holy brother, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest of our confession of Christ Jesus. Whoever the whole humility thing we could just strut around. Incidentally, I think pulpit serve a purpose for passes. They keep us from strutting when we get high-minded of ourselves. Unless you pastorally the Bow Valley. We're going to see a pansy wearing just get behind the pool, all sorry some of my own thing again right well and was with the acrylic ones that I have stories, but I can tell verse seven that I can tease you with them because that's what Santa Claus does verse seven so they appointed Cadiz and Galilee in the mountains of Naphtali, Shechem and the mountains of Ephraim and Jerry Jeff Arba, which is have Ron in the mountains of Judah God in verse two said take the cities and they didn't think they did a good job at this. So is the law. Allotments went by lot by casting of lot by God being involved.
Shechem is a significant place to the Jewish person and in their Bibles if they were our Bible student dinner should be significant to a lot of things took place. The Abraham built his first altar to the Lord in Shechem.
I may have built others, but that's the oneness recorded. Isaac is said to have dug a well in Shechem and Brooklyn and Nevada highly distinct dug wells everywhere that you started with, you know, can you dig it. That was Isaac.
He started that Jacob built an altar in Shechem. Jacob bought a parcel of land Shechem that if your heritage is significant.
This is more than you know what we get is will usually get that you know we chopped down just what time than the cherry trees beginning of our you know cultural heritage. 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 radio.com find additional teachings from Pastor Rick available there 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 radio.com. 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