“Appoint out for you cities of refuge,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:
“That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.” – Joshua 20:2, 3

Readings

Joshua 20 · Luke 6:27-49 · Psalm 144

Sermon

It was a practice among the Jews that when one had been killed, his relatives should avenge the wrong by pursuing and killing the one who had committed the deed. The pursuer was called the “avenger of blood.”

In the division of the land among the twelve tribes no district was given to the tribe of Levi. Instead, this tribe was given cities, forty-eight in all, scattered throughout the whole land. Six of these Levite cities were appointed for a special purpose and called cities of refuge. These were provided so that if anyone had killed another by accident, without meaning to do it, he might flee to one of the cities of refuge and be safe.

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“Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.” – Joshua 23:14

Readings

Joshua 23 · John 12:20-36 · Psalm 107

Sermon

These words Joshua spoke to the people of Israel with their elders and heads, their judges and officers. Joshua was old and he knew that he was about to die. So he assembled the people at Shechem. It was an impressive occasion. Joshua had led them to victory. He had made of Israel a nation, and had seen them settled in the land promised to them of old, to which they had looked forward with hope for many years. So Joshua wished to give them his counsel and his blessing. He was the same man in dying that he had been in living – calm, brave, and unwavering.

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