God once again reminds the people of the great need to protect the innocent. He commands them to set up cities of refuge for those who kill someone accidentally. They are a safe place from those who would exact revenge for the loss of a loved one. If, however, a person is guilty of planning and executing a murder, he/she is to be removed from the city of refuge, stand trial, and then be stoned to death. How quickly will we label this barbaric? We cannot imagine someone dying because they purposely took another life. God, however, sees the evil that it takes to kill and wants it gone from among His people. His legal system was not created to protect the guilty; his system was created to protect the innocent. Those who were guilty of a crime deserved their punishment, but those who had done nothing wrong deserved to be protected and watched out for. The laws of the land were created by God and were meant as a deterrent to those who are prone to sin. By the way, we are all prone to sin so the law applies to each of us. God created harsh punishments to stop those who would do others harm. If a person chose to step out of His boundaries, then they were guilty and deserved the punishment that comes with it. Do we hold to that same standard in our homes, specifically with our children? Without consequences, our kids will have no conscience and will walk in complete disobedience to God Almighty.

Help me, Lord, to see Your law as a wonderful protector of my freedoms. Help me to discipline my children in a manner that honors You and clearly defines the consequences for stepping outside Your boundaries.