Deuteronomy – Deu 4:41-43 “…That Fleeing Unto One of These Cities He Might Live”

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Deu 4:41-43 "...That Fleeing Unto One of These Cities He Might Live"

Deu 4:41 Then Moses severed three cities on this side Jordan toward the sunrising;
Deu 4:42 That the slayer might flee thither, which should kill his neighbour unawares, and hated him not in times past; and that fleeing unto one of these cities he might live:
Deu 4:43 Namely, Bezer in the wilderness, in the plain country, of the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead, of the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, of the Manassites.

Last week we learned what it means to dwell in the fire and to know truth in the fire. At the end of the verses last week we were told that these are the statutes and judgments by which we are to live in the fire. So why does the very next set of verses we've just read tell us about three cities where the slayer may go, who killed his neighbor unawares, until he be heard by the whole congregation or the high priest die? We must first see who the slayer is and who the neighbor is before we can understand the meaning of the cities. The cities are three, the number which signifies the process of judgment, and it is in this process of judgment we enter the city to be free from the slayer.

These verses out of Joshua further detail our verses at hand:

Jos 20:1 The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying,
Jos 20:2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:
Jos 20:3 That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.
Jos 20:4 And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.
Jos 20:5 And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.
Jos 20:6 And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.
Jos 20:7 And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.
Jos 20:8 And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.
Jos 20:9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.

What is the purpose of the cities? They were to be a refuge for a slayer who kills someone accidentally or without knowledge that he had killed someone. The cities are a safe place for the slayer from the avenger of the the persons family whom he killed. I was not aware that I was responsible for the blood of Christ until someone told me that I was a sinner. I did not know that being born into this world in flesh made me a slayer.

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Rom 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Rom 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Rom 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Rom 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:
Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

We know by scripture that if we offend in one area of the law, we are guilty of all. Being guilty of any statute of the law makes me a breaker of all the law, therefore I am a murderer.

Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Jas 2:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

So the flesh itself makes me guilty of breaking the law, and breaking the law makes me a murderer even if I have not literally murdered anyone. If I hate my brother, my neighbor, I have become a murderer;

1Jn 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

From scripture it is easy to establish how we are born in sin, and being born in sin makes me hate my brother just naturally. We want those around us to act the way we do, not to judge us on for our sins, and highlight all our fleshly goodness. This is the natural way of all of mankind and what the flesh calls love. However, the LORD has made it so that everyone is guilty from birth, and none have an excuse for their sin, because we cannot say we were not born flesh.

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Scripture has established that we are all the slayer. We all have murdered, we all have stolen, we all have broken the law in one way or another. So to break the law in one area, we are guilty of all of it. Do we then say, "I've broken the law, I'm sorry let's move on, right?" It's not that easy. Why do we have wars, sickness, plagues, earthquakes, storms, stealing, adultery and murder in the world? Because of sin. Flesh can only produce flesh, sin can only produce sin. When the scripture says there is none good, no not one , that is exactly what it means.

There is not one good deed that has been done by any man who has ever walked this earth that would allow God to pardon his sin and say, "Enter into My kingdom, you good and faithful servant" - NOT ONE. This is the reason Christ has come, to do what we cannot do. Christ has become our city of refuge. When we enter that city we become a citizen of that city and are called by that city's name, in this case, Bezer in the wilderness in the plain country, Ramoth in Gilead of the Gadites and Golan in Bashan of the Manassites.

The name Bezer is from H1221 which means "an inaccessible spot". It comes from H1220 which means "strictly a clipping, that is, gold (as dug out): - gold defence. And this definition comes from H1219 which means "A primitive root; to clip off; specifically (as denominative from H1210) to gather grapes; also to be isolated (that is, inaccessible by height or fortification): - cut off, (de-) fenced, fortify, (grape) gather (-er), mighty things, restrain, strong, wall (up), withhold".

When we put them together we find out that when we are in Christ, we are hid from the slayer in a defensed golden city that is inaccessible to the slayer.

Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Then we have another description of Christ in RamothH7216 "Heights", which is from 7215 "something high in value, perhaps coral", and that word is from H7213 which means "to rise, be lifted up". Put these together and you get: we are resurrected in Christ to a high value, lifted up in Christ to heights unattainable by the slayer.

Joh 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Joh 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Now we have GolanH1474 "captive", from H1473, "exile; concretely and collectively, exiles: - (carried away), captive (-ity), removing". We have been taken captives, exiled to heights unattainable, in a golden city from the law of sin and death, the slayer.

Rom 6:18 Now, being freed from Sin, you are enslaved to Righteousness." (CLV)

So we have been exiled by Christ into His kingdom where we are servants to Him and to His righteousness. We have fled for refuge by becoming slaves to Christ.

Heb 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Heb 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
Heb 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

So Christ is our refuge from the slayer, and if we are called by His name, then we are a refuge to those who are fleeing from the avenger. We become the city.

Psa 48:1 A Song and Psalm for the sons of Korah. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.
Psa 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
Psa 48:3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge.
Psa 48:4 For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.
Psa 48:5 They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.
Psa 48:6 Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
Psa 48:7 Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.
Psa 48:8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.
Psa 48:9 We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.
Psa 48:10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.
Psa 48:11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.
Psa 48:12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.
Psa 48:13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.
Psa 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

Christ is the city of refuge from the avenger, and we become citizens of that city, all called by the city's name. So that we can be a refuge to all that are fleeing the avenger. Now we must ask, who is the avenger?

1Th 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

Why is He avenging us? It is because of the death of all the prophets and from the death of His son.

Luk 11:50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
Luk 11:51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Isa 47:3 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.

How does he avenge us? He uses the law.

Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Gal 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

We are condemned by the law of the flesh. He uses the law to bring vengeance on the flesh, but we rebel against that judgment by hiding in Babylon and making our own laws. We dishonour Him more by dishonouring the law that says we are sinful flesh and covering our sins by religious doctrines.

Rom 2:23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. (ESV)

When we think we can cover our sin by religious practices we are breaking the law and dishonouring God because we do not believe the true report of our sinfulness. We do not believe we are born sinful and that there is nothing good in us, therefore God is vengeful toward our flesh.

Mat 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Mat 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Mat 15:5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
Mat 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

Joh 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
Joh 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
Joh 12:38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
Joh 12:39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
Joh 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Isa 47:3 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.

So we are the slayer, Christ is the neighbor, the cities of refuge are in the resurrection of Christ, and the avenger that chases us is the law of God. We cannot escape the Avenger unless we stay in the City, where we are protected.

Mar 13:16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

We cannot be slaves of the law and slaves of Christ. We cannot think we can make ourselves righteous and then claim Christ. Water does not mix with oil, and our works of the flesh do not mix with the works of Christ. Either we take on His name and dwell in His city of refuge or we are overcome by the slayer in this life and die in sin.

Next week, LORD willing, we will go over the last verses of Deuteronomy 4.

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