This section of Moses’ speech loosely correlates with the 6th Commandment (do not murder). Moses begins Chapter 19 by discussing cities of refuge – a place for a person to flee if they accidentally kill someone. There were to be three cities of refuge (which are later named in Joshua 20:1-9), but Moses mentions the possibility of three additional cities…
…provided you are careful to keep all this commandment, which I command you today, by loving the Lord your God and by walking ever in his ways—then you shall add three other cities to these three (Deuteronomy 19:9).
There is no record of additional cities of refuge being named in the Old Testament…which leads me to believe that the people did not meet the qualifications. They were not faithful to keep the commandments.
Looking forward to Mark… Jesus predicts that his disciples would all fall away. Despite Peter’s protest, Jesus knew – and we know – that Peter, along with the rest of the disciples – abandoned Jesus following his arrest.
The people of Israel failed to keep the commandments. The disciples failed to stand by their Lord. We fail… in so many ways.
Jesus came to earth to rescue us from our failures. Today’s passage in Mark describes Jesus’ final prayer before he was arrested. He was anticipating the suffering – both physically and spiritually – that he would endure…
“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death.” …And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:34-36).
He endured the cross for our sake. Consider this; meditate upon it, and wrestle with it… Jesus died for me. Jesus died for you. Do not belittle the sacrifice.