Safety in the City
Then Moses set apart three cities on this side of the Jordan, toward the rising of the sun, that the manslayer might flee there, who kills his neighbor unintentionally, without having hated him in time past, and that by fleeing to one of these cities he might live.
—Deuteronomy 4:41-42, NKJV
Contrary to popular belief, urban centers do not inherently act as breeding grounds for danger and violence. In fact, the Bible presents the city as a place of safety and lawfulness. Israel’s cities of refuge represent this perspective. God set aside these cities to shelter people who had committed accidental manslaughter. Rather than running away from a community, the suspect was encouraged to run toward one. Citizens of the city were to protect the suspect and ensure a fair hearing rather than leave him in the open to be preyed upon by the dead person’s relatives.
The hazards of modern life in cities (or anywhere) are often a result of the loss of community. The answer to urban crime is not to flee to the suburbs but to reclaim the benefits of living alongside one’s neighbors in peace, without fear or prejudice but with meaningful interaction and generosity. God yearns for us to live in fellowship with one another.
Drawn from a note in the Apply the Word Study Bible.
What hurdles do we need to overcome to fellowship with our neighbors in meaningful interaction and generosity? Post a comment below! >