Monday, February 11, 2019

Joshua 20:5-6 -- On Time and Space and Repentance

"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.
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."
Joshua 20:5-6

Although a lot of this guidance is obsolete, a lot of these Old Testament laws are interesting, and show God's compassion.  In these verses it deals with a specific form of murder, or what we might call manslaughter, and it provides for the killer to flee to a safe city, away from where the crime happened.  This probably helped both sides deal with the loss better, but it also provides for the possibility of the offender to eventually return.  This seems to be kind of an introduction to repentance, giving people space and time to overcome a serious offense, and then encouraging a reconciliation.

Today, maybe we can think about that idea of giving ourselves space and time to learn to change, as well as allowing other people to change.  If we can't deal with it immediately, that's okay, but let's not give up trying, or decide that we can never forgive, or will never be able to repent.  With God, all things are possible, and change and forgiveness are possible, with effort, faith, and a lot of help from the Saviour. :)

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