THEME: CHRIST OUR STRONGHOLD
“The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.”
-There were six cities of refuge or strongholds that one could flee to where the adversary pursued. In Joshua 20:7-9, we see that “So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. East of the Jordan (on the other side from Jericho) they designated Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh. Any of the Israelites or any foreigner residing among them who killed someone accidentally could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly”. Each of these cities had a great significance and meaning to the tribes of Israel and they point us to Christ as our Stronghold. When the Mosaic law punished murderers by death (Exodus 21:14), the cities of refuge rescued the worst of humanity by offering salvation. Kedesh for instance, was a city of refuge that speaks of our righteousness. It tells us that, if we rely on our own righteousness, we remain inadequate and exposed to the enemy. As sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:21). God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). We are justified by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and remain righteous because He is righteous. Once we receive the gift of righteousness through Christ, we partake freely from the tree of life and not the tree of knowledge of good and evil that leads to death. This displays a picture of Christ as our refuge and draws us to Him when we are inadequate because of sin and the adversary pursues us. When we are stressed, depressed, anxious, fearful, we don’t feel adequate and need hope, we are called to run to Christ; our Refuge and Stronghold.
This is the day that You have made Lord, we rejoice and are glad in it. Lord You are the Maker of the heavens and the earth, all creation bows down before You Oh King. You created all the animals, natural habitation, planets and the galaxy in beauty and splendor, all glory belongs to You. You created man in Your own image and likeness, all creation bows down before You our Lord and King. Thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross for our redemption that we may become righteous before You Jesus, all creation bows down before You. Forgive us all unrighteousness and cleanse us with Your precious blood we humbly implore You. Lord You are our Refuge and Stronghold in times of trouble, our ever present help in times of need, we run to You that we may find mercy and grace to help us in times of need. Jesus You are Refuge and Fortress, we put all our trust in You. Be with our children as they go back to school and protect them from all evil. Thank You for justifying us by faith through grace, all our hope and trust is in You Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen
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