In our passage today, Moses is speaking to the people of Israel and reminding them of what the Lord has commanded them to do. Each section of our chapter corresponds with the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder”. In verses 1-13, Moses tells the people to set up 3 cities of refuge so that if someone accidentally murders another person, then they may go there for safety. This is interesting because these 3 cities are places of grace. The people who flee to these places have killed someone, but it was not out of wrongdoing. These places are to help someone receive grace for something bad that was not intentional. Notice that in verses 11-13, if someone plans to murder someone and they escape to the city then they are not protected because they murdered out of hate.
Verse 14 shows that people are to not steal land from their neighbor, and verses 15-21 show that people cannot be falsely accused.
What we should take away from Deuteronomy 19 is that God demonstrates His just character. He gives grace to those who murder on accident, and He makes sure that people are not getting treated wrongly by their neighbor.
Another big take away is that in the Old Testament people were about ‘getting even’ with others (v. 21), but when Jesus came He said that if someone slaps you then you should turn the other cheek (Matt 5:38-39). Jesus is about extending grace to those who don’t deserve it (all of us), and we should model that.
How can you extend grace to someone that has wronged you?
By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice