I am so glad that God understood just how clumsy and careless we can be at times. While God despises murder, He understands that people die simply because they are clumsy or careless. No intent to do harm was present in the heart of the person that made a mistake even though someone lost their life. For those who consciously murder a person in cold blood for any reason, death is God's only answer. If a person plans to take another life and then executes that plan, then he/she is to be executed. Those, however, who make a mistake and another person dies have a place to go for safety. God calls these places: "cities of refuge." They are set aside for the Levitical priesthood and are spread out across the land of Israel. Each city offers protection to those who mistakenly take another person's life. If that person chooses to leave the city, then he is at the mercy of the murdered person's family. If, while on trial, this person is exonerated of any intent to do harm, then he/she is to return to the city of refuge until the current High Priest dies. Do we have a place of refuge in this world? We do, and His name is Jesus. He is our safe place, our city of refuge in the midst of our sin and stupidity. He is one person we can turn to when no one else understands or even feels sorry for us. He is the One who will "give it to you straight," when you most need it. Jesus is our city of refuge in a dark and fallen world. God provided Old Testament cities as safe places for those who messed up or made mistakes and took a life. He has given us a new city of refuge in Jesus where we can go for rest, encouragement, instruction, and reproof.

Help me, Lord, to seek You as my city of refuge when temptation gets overpowering and my humanity starts bleeding through. Help me to find that encouragement, strength, instruction, rest, and reproof in You, my city of refuge.