Daily Word

Deuteronomy 19

Read Deuteronomy 19 – Refuge and justice – the LORD established a system of justice, allowing for accidents, with cities of refuge.   

The thing that stands out to me about these cities is that one had to take personal responsibility for the death of another, even if it happened by accident without any malice.  Scripture gives the example of two going out to chop wood and the axe head falls off and kills one. (:5)  Though that was an accident, the survivor would then run to a city of refuge, tell the elders, and live within the city of refuge, protected from revenge by the dead person’s family.  

The LORD also knew that some would seek this protection in an unworthy manner, after killing someone deliberately, then seeking refuge.  In that instance the elders of the murderers hometown were to send agents to retrieve him, so that he could be put to death. (:12)

There was a system in place for false accusations, and I wonder how we got away from such a thing.  In our modern system of justice, anyone can sue anyone with no repercussions should the charges be found false.  In God’s system, the false accuser would receive the punishment intended for the accused. (:19) 

God’s justice serves the community by action and reputation.  Things were dealt with in a very present time frame, and the community would learn what happens when evil is done and be afraid to do such things. (:20).

It is incredible to me that the LORD holds no false hope about humanity.  We are sinners and a system of justice is necessary.  He gave us Jesus, sending him to pay our ransom, to be justice for us so we could be redeemed children, co-heirs with Jesus. (See Romans 8:17)

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