(Numbers 35, Psalm 79; Optional 1 Corinthians 4:7-21, Proverbs 24:28-34)
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See May 11 for SPECIAL NOTE on format change…
NUMBERS 35 – Among the 48 towns scattered through Israel that were allotted to the Levites (which would put experts in God’s law sprinkled through the land to instruct the people and point them to the Lord and His way) were to be 6 “cities of refuge.” If someone killed someone unintentionally (manslaughter), they could flee to one of these towns and find shelter until there could be an investigation and trial.
Num 35:25-28 – Even if it was unintentional, the death of one of God’s image bearers is so important that it demanded significant life change and restricted freedom for the person who committed manslaughter. If they took this lightly, they could be executed (v 26-27). Notice that there was only full freedom once the high priest died (v 28). What a powerful pointer to Jesus, the high priest of all who trust Him, who purchased our full freedom with His own death.
PSALM 79 – Written after the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC. The original Asaph (see Psalm title) was during King David’s time (about hundreds of years before), so this is likely written by someone from a worship choir named in his honor. He knows they deserve punishment, but is calling out for mercy in the midst of the judgment (v 8, 11). And wisely cries out to God based on God’s own glory and reputation (v 6, 9-10, 12). No matter what God chooses to do, note the unswerving commitment to thanking and praising Him (v 13).