31 Kings, 31 Flavors, 31 Victories
Allow me two stories and then our lesson (and a huge shout-out to Josh for preaching this text faithful to help me see wonderful things in the Word).
First, I remember as a kid we had to drive for miles to get to the closest Baskin Robbins ice cream store (we lived on a remote military base). I remember the anticipation. I remember the display of ice cream. I remember taking my sweet time inspecting, pondering, and rehearsing how each of the 31 flavors might taste. Lingering over ice cream was no burden at all.
Secondly, I remember playing a lot of organized sports in my youth. I was blessed to be on some really good teams. At the end of the year we would have a banquet and recount, slowly, with great joy each victory. We would make banners with all the scores of the games and relish in the sweet thoughts of accomplishment and achievement. Lingering over victories was no burden at all.
Now we come to our lesson. For this lesson you must open your BIble to Joshua, Chapter 12, and read verses nine through twenty-four.
How did you do? Anyone get bored a third of the way through? Anyone find themselves skimming the list or skipping names of cities altogether? These fifteen verses recount thirty-one faithful acts of God… specific faithful, promise keeping acts of God. These are victories of God on behalf of His people Israel and His people–you…(provided you are in Christ).
Thirty-one, 31, treinta y uno remembrances. Thirty-one joyful recountings that God is faithful. His mercies are new every morning. Here, in Joshua 12, the faithful are rejoicing in the promise-keeping King who defeats enemies of life and joy. Can you recount 31 faithful acts…specific acts (with dates, and places, and people) of God in your life? Do you know of 31 princes of sin that God has slain in your soul… 31 enemies of the King and your joy. Is God’s kingdom gaining ground in your attitude and action?
Cultivate gratitude…thanksgiving is the opposite of every sin.