Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Cities of Refuge - Golan

1 Then the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'Designate the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses, 3 that the manslayer who kills any person unintentionally, without premeditation, may flee there, and they shall become your refuge from the avenger of blood. Joshua 20:1-2

The cities of refuge in the Old Testament are a picture of what Christ does for us. As the man guilty of accidentally killing someone is pursued, he can find refuge in six cites that have been set aside for this purpose. In these cities he is protected from those who seek to avenge the blood that he shed by taking his life.

Spiritually we are in the same situation, but our sins were no accident. We have sinned against God and His justice hangs over our head, and He will one day pour out His wrath upon us. Unless of course we flee to the refuge He has provided, and that refuge is Christ. For in Him God’s justice was satisfied for all who believe.

There are many things these cities of refuge teach us about Christ, which will hopefully be explored in future posts, but to start I want to focus on the meaning found in the names of the cities of refuge. Today we will look at Golan.

Golan was one of the Cities of Refuge, and what is interesting about this name is that it means separation, but not just any separation for some separation brings sorrow. The name Golan however carries the idea of separation that brings joy. When we run to Christ we will be separated from many things, and being separated from these things will bring us joy.

First, we will be separated from the guilt and condemnation of our sin. This is our justification. The wrath of God that rightfully belonged to us has been placed on the sacred head of Christ.

Second, we are saved in some respect in this life from the sin that rules our hearts. The sin we struggle with in this life is slowly dying thanks to the work of the Spirit in our lives. Though we will never reach perfection in this life we are in a process of being separated from our old selves, and this process is our Sanctification.

And third, we will finally be separated from all our flaws and be made like Christ, which is our glorification. The day will come when we will sin no more, and we will be separated from our darkened view of Him and see Him face to face. In that moment all the weakness and imperfection we carry will be gone permanently.

Rejoice in Christ our refuge, for in Him we will find joy in all the things from which He separates us. Flee to Christ and be separated from your guilt, sinful struggles, and eventually from this body of death.

-Doug Eaton-

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At Wednesday, September 13, 2006 8:01:00 AM, Blogger Tim A. said...

That is a great article. It was a blessing to read.
I had never thought of the cities of refuge in that light. I do not know what I was thinking.
Great stuff.


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