handing over our hurts

brown wooden axe besides brown leather knife holster

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handing over our hurts

Deuteronomy 19:4 “Here is the instruction concerning a case of someone who kills a person and flees there to stay alive, having killed his neighbor accidentally without previously hating him:
Deuteronomy 19:5 If, for example, he goes into the forest with his neighbor to fell timber, and his hand swings the ax to chop down a tree, but the blade flies off the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies, that person may run away to one of these cities and stay alive.
Deuteronomy 19:6 Or else, the avenger of blood in the heat of his anger might pursue the one who committed manslaughter, overtake him because the distance is great, and slit his throat. Yet he did not legally deserve to die, since he did not previously hate his neighbor.
Deuteronomy 19:7 This is why I am commanding you, and this is what I say: separate three cities for yourselves.

handing over our hurts

I mentioned yesterday that there was a social and psychological need for these cities of refuge. If someone killed another person — even if it were accidental — it meant that the community itself could no longer support and protect him. A life had been taken. An offense had occurred requiring retribution. But the retribution in the case cited above would actually be an escalation. The innocent accident would lead to someone being guilty of premeditated murder. So, part of the social reason for the cities of refuge was to prevent that. The family of the victim of manslaughter would know that the person who killed their kin is out of the way, and they would be free to go on with their lives and grieve normally, without becoming another domino in a long line of falling dominoes.

Christian, has someone done something wrong to you or someone you love? Don’t dwell on it. It is not healthy to let thoughts of bitterness and revenge eat away at your mind. Turn it over to God. Let him heal your hurt. If you keep opening the wound every day, it will never heal, and you will be stuck in a cycle of hurt and hate. Pray to God for the strength to go on with your life.

Lord, today we resolve to no longer live with the hurts and resentments of the past. We hand our hurts over to you.

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
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