Seriously, Moses told them, "build roads to the towns."
Here's the kicker: the reason for the road system: "so that anyone who accidentally kills another can flee there."
I love the simple justice dealt for untimely death:
- If it was accidental - the one who caused the death is innocent, and he has the right to seek sanctuary in the Cities of Refuge.
- If the man who killed someone else by accident is himself killed in revenge, that's murder.
- If there is known to be bad blood between two men, and one kills the other, it's considered murder, and the murderer is executed.
- If a dead body is discovered and no one witnessed the death, the elders of the town offer a heifer and proclaim their innocence. The matter is dropped. (that would be a neat way to get rid of a lot of cold cases!)
But. . .the road system . . .built to protect the rights of the innocent.
Two witnesses to any crime were required before a sentence could be handed out.
Rather than being the harsh "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth," culture as I've often pictured it, God actually created a justice system where guilt had to be proved twice over and the government was supposed to protect the innocent by building them a road.
When Jesus said He was the way, He put me on the road--the way--to protection. Only in Him do I find refuge for my soul.