One of the interesting things in the allotment of land and cities in the promised land was the creation of cities of Refuge. If someone was in trouble, if they were falsely accused, if they were trying to find a place of safety, God had these cities were they could come to for rest and refuge.
The Bible is the story of God's mercy towards us. We see that here, even in the Law of the Old Testament. Here the Law, we see God's concern and God's mercy. God wanted to those in need to have a place of refuge.
Today, in the swirling stress of life, with deadlines and requirements and pressure and sickness and hurt and all these things; may we find our city of refuge. We find peace in God. May we find His mercy. For He longs for us to have it.
New Testament Lesson
I love the last two verses in this passage. Nothing can separate us from God's love! Nothing! Nothing life, or death or sickness or anything. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. His love will go all lengths to find us. His love is there for us at all times. He has gone through everything, even the agony and pain of the cross to show us His love, and nothing, nothing, nothing, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus!
In Romans we see the depth of God's love for us. In this passage we see Christ's judgement of the Pharisees. Why did He come down so hard on them? What was their problem? What did they do wrong?
They were more concerned about the outer appearance of religion than the inner truth of religion. They were more concerned about looking religious to others than they were with showing God's mercy. Their actions appeared to make them very close to God. Their hearts showed that they were not.
Today, let us remember that it starts with the heart. May we not worry so much about trying to look religious to others as we are in making sure that our heart is committed to God. If our heart is His, everything else will follow