As I read this morning, I got about halfway through the reading and the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, “this is the Law”.
The reading starts out detailing the cities of refuge, places where people could run for safety from the “avenger of blood” (19:6) until a trial could be held to prove their innocence or guilt.
While this reading and the Law are speaking specifically to actual situations where accidental murders are taking place, there is always a deeper meaning buried in the scriptures waiting for treasure seekers like myself to unearth them. This instance is no different.
The avenger of blood is a symbol of Satan, he loves to seek out the lawbreakers.
In Deuteronomy 21:22-23 we read:
“And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death [ALL sin], and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.”
We ALL, because of Adam’s sin, have committed crimes punishable by death. Speaking out in anger is committing murder in the eyes of God, and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t done that! (see Matthew 5:22)
But then there’s Jesus.
Jesus is symbolized by the cities of refuge.
He is where we can flee from the avenger of blood and remain safe. In Galatians 3:10-14 the Holy Spirit gives us tremendous hope and Truth:
“For all who rely on works of the law [obeying the Law for salvation and favor] are under a curse, for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.’ Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith,’ But the law is not of faith, rather, ‘The one who does them shall live by them.’ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’ – so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
Satan points to our
lack of righteousness
He is known as the accuser of the brethren. His entire goal is to remind us of our lack of righteousness (or right-ness with God) through the Law. There was one law in the Garden of Eden, and it was through this one law that Satan caused Adam and Eve to fall resulting in the curse (see Genesis 3). This is not a coincidence, it’s Truth. Satan USES the Law to cause us to fall. It’s what he does.
When we rely on our own strength and wisdom to follow the Law we give Satan a huge foothold in our lives, because the Law is his strength. The Law is PERFECT in absolutely every aspect. WE are not perfect.
We weren’t created to be perfect beings. We were created to be imperfect beings in search of THE PERFECT GOD to fill in our imperfections. We were created to be weaklings in search of THE STRENGTH OF GOD. Satan points out those things out in order to make us feel unworthy of God who loves and cares for us more than anything.
Jesus points us to Himself.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33
“In Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21
While Satan loves to point his accusing finger
to Deuteronomy 29:21: “Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” And with hate-filled words he says to you, “You’re not enough”.
Jesus points to the cross where He gave His life for yours.
He points to the soldiers who spit in His eye instead of yours. He walks his nail pierced feet over to you, points his hole-y hands to His chest and says to you, “You don’t have to be enough, because I AM. You don’t have to obtain righteousness on your own, because I’ve already purchased it for you.” Extending His arms out toward you, He presents you with a gift – Righteousness. HIS Righteousness. “Here, it’s yours, a gift of love from Me to you. You need only take it and wear it as a robe of honor, like Joseph’s. It’s filled with color and Life more abundant than you could ever imagine! You need only wear it every day, live in it. Don’t just save it for special occasions, keeping it tucked away in the back of the closet for safekeeping. It’s been made to WEAR. I promise you it is sturdy enough to hold up to anything you can possibly throw at it. It will never wear out, it will never stain, it will never tear because it’s My perfection – not yours. It’s a symbol, a reminder, of My Life, My sacrifice, My everlasting love for YOU.”