The Levitical cities scattered amongst the tribes were not only to be cities of religious instruction for the nation as a whole, but there were to serve as a spiritual community as well. The cities of refuge were among the cities of the Levites where those in sin could run for safety.

I cannot help but compare these cities with the local churches. God has planted his churches throughout our land as places of spiritual community as well as places of safety. The Swiss psychiatrist Paul Tournier has written a remarkable book, A Place for You, underlining the importance of each of us having a place of safety. In it, he gives case examples of people who psychologically and spiritually have needed to discover a place where they can be at home, accepted, and understood. He states: The ideal support, then, is a presence, a vigilant, unshakeable, indefectible, presence, but one that is discreet, gentle, silent, and respectful. We want help in our struggle, but do not want our personal responsibility to be taken from us. A look, a smile, an intense emotion—these are the things that can help us to win our victories over ourselves.”

Unfortunately our churches are not always what they should be, but we must continually strive together to make it that place of refuge for all those in need. Like the Levitical cities, the church should be a place of spiritual community. It should be a place of instruction that maintains and passes on the heritage to each generation. It should be that place where those in need can find refuge, forgiveness, healing and comfort when they need it most.
 “So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.” Romans 7:4