The Cities of Refuge
There were cities of refuge strategically placed on each side of the Jordan River whereby a manslayer might find haven until his case could be heard. A man finding himself to be guilty of the death of another (ignorantly or accidentally) had one hope of survival — he must get to the city of refuge.
The highway which led to each city had to be prepared by the priest to assure unobstructed passage. Hills were to be made low, valleys were to be exalted, crooked ways made straight and rough places made plain to remove all hindrances of travel. At all crossroads a sign had to be posted pointing toward the city of refuge.
Men by nature are guilty before God by birth (in Adam) and practice. The realization of that guilt (by the Holy Spirit) sets that man fleeing toward Christ (the City of Refuge). God-called preachers must proclaim the unobstructed way (Christ) toward the city of refuge Himself. Hills of pride, valleys of despair, and crossroads of ignorance are made plain only one way — the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. Guilty sinners must see that banner that cries Refuge, Refuge, this way to the City of Refuge.
By Marvin Stalnaker