July 30, 2020

An Oasis of Grace

Numbers 35:6-15

“Select some towns to be your cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone accidentally may flee.”

—  Numbers 35:11

An oasis is a place in the desert where water is found. It’s like an island in a barren wilderness where people can find refreshment and rest.

Six of the forty-eight cities that were given to the Levites were to be cities of refuge—like an oasis in the desert. These cities were sprinkled throughout Israel, and they served as a ­refuge for anyone who accidentally took the life of another person. The one accused of murder still faced a trial, but a city of refuge protected that person from vigilante justice.

Cities of refuge were a place of safety, hospitality, rest, justice, and grace. They were like home base in a game of tag. The accused murderer was safe in the city of refuge. The refugee could be assured of being treated fairly and justly.

As recipients of God’s grace, we must be an oasis of grace to others. We need to make our homes and churches a refuge for others by sharing the same grace that we have received.

Many people in our world need a place to settle and find rest. Is your home open to people who are hurting? Are our churches welcoming to people who need forgiveness and healing?

Reach out to refresh others with God’s love.

Father, help us to provide oases of grace to others. May we share the same mercy that we have received in Christ. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Tom Groelsema

Tom Groelsema and his wife, Sheri, have served churches in Minnesota, Michigan, and North Carolina. They have four children and three granddaughters.

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