Numbers 35 is about the cities of the Levites. They aren’t given a possession of the land. They are to live throughout the Land of Promise in cities among each of the tribes. Then each tribe would have priests nearby to instruct them. It keeps the Levites set apart. We are the priesthood of believers. We are set apart. We receive God as our possession and hold fast to Him alone, not to anything on this earth.
Part of the Levites’ tithe of the cities will be six cities of refuge. If you accidentally killed someone, you could flee to take refuge in one of these cities.
A murderer is to be avenged, killed by a relative of the one who was killed. That’s how the murder is to be atoned for, by the blood of the one who shed blood.
The only escape is to be judged as having accidentally killed the person and then fleeing to live in a place of refuge. There they can live safe from the avenger. They can return home only after the high priest dies. There was no sacrifice to save them. That is, until Christ’s perfect sacrifice.
God, He is our refuge. God is our hiding place. The wages of our sin were our deaths as well, but Jesus shed His blood to free us from our life debt. In response we give our lives to Him willingly, in gratitude, in love, and in eternal thanksgiving.
There were only certain sins that required death as the penalty. They are sins of life and death, sins of blood, sins of bloodlines, sins of false worship which allowed gods of death instead of life into their midst.
We are told blood defiles the land. What blood has been shed on your nation’s soil?
In America, President Abraham Lincoln saw the Civil War as God carrying out God’s justice. He saw the American blood shed during the Civil War as paying the blood debt for the beating and killing of slaves. He said during his second inaugural address: until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’
Oh, that our nations’ leaders would acknowledge God like this man did!
And today? What must happen? What blood is shed on our soil today? Violent crimes? Yes, but more significantly, between 600,000 and 1.2 million babies are slaughtered each year, just in America. There are maybe 50 million slaughtered worldwide, each year, more than one per second.
Ever read the book of Revelation and read verses like this? “And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.”
Why so much bloodshed? Because shed blood requires shed blood.