Joshua 20

“Appoint the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses, that the manslayer who strikes any person without intent or unknowingly may flee there” (v2-3).  God gave Israel laws and procedures to protect them from their own human sinfulness.  In the ancient world, if someone accidentally killed someone else, a typical response was “vigilante justice,” in which a relative would immediately avenge the death.  Instead, God told Israel to set aside cities where the “manslayer” could find refuge and be given a fair hearing (v4).  

“They shall be for you a refuge” (v3).  Israel had external enemies, but like us, they also faced internal struggles.  God is our refuge even from the darkness of our own hearts.