Missionary Tells How Christians Were Protected

I read of a Norwegian missionary, Marie Monsen, who served in China in the 1950s. She testified to the intervention of angels when Christians were in great danger. They had taken refuge in the mission compound only to be surrounded by looting soldiers and they were astonish … More

Refuge

This chapter deals with Human Relationships. Here we find the laws concerning the cities of refuge which were intended to save the lives of those not guilty of premeditated murders. There were six of these cities which were spaced throughout the land so that they might be easily reached by anyone who kills a man. 

Moses gives an illustration of two men who were cutting wood when an axe head flew off and accidently killed one of the men. The survivor could flee to the city of refuge where a kinsman avenger could not slay him in revenge. The purpose of these cities of refuge was to prevent the entire nation from suffering purposeless executions. A man who intentionally murdered someone was not to find refuge in one of these cities.

A law was established concerning the moving of boundary markers. Since the land was an inheritance from God, anyone who tried to steal land by moving the markers was sinning against God. Moses lays down rules for dealing with false witnesses (vv. 15-21. There always had to be more than one witness to convict a man of a crime (17:6). This meant that there had to be two or three witnesses before a decision could be made legally. If it was proven that any witness had lied, he was to suffer the punishment that the defendant would have suffered had his testimony been true.

Application

God’s law established at this time said that crime was a serious thing, and that punishment should fit the crime. This should be observed in our court rooms today instead of letting criminals go free.

Deuteronomy 19:1-21 (English Standard Version)


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