Today we’re going to take a look at the story behind the stats on a very unique gold enhancement from the book of Joshua!
To briefly set up our story, Joshua and Israel just learned a hard lesson. They failed their attempt to take the city of Ai because of Sin in the Camp. Find out more by reading my devotional about that story here.
Redemption has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. I would hold new cards and wonder “what is the story behind this picture?”, or as the game began to advance “why does this card have this special ability?”. These questions always pointed me back to the Word of God and gave me a rich connection to the stories in the Bible. Sometimes my reading would make me think of a card, other times a card would prompt me to open my Bible.
In this series of articles, I will draw attention to some “stats” on a Redemption card. Most of the time it will be the special ability, but there are times (like today’s card) where the very structure or brigades of the card will help us tell a story!
Last week, we looked at Balaam being summoned by Balak, king of Moab. God allowed Balaam to travel to the plains of Moab with one condition: “do only what I tell you” (Numbers 22:20). The angel in the path got Balaam’s attention momentarily, but there was already a darkness settling upon his heart. It threatened to choke out his fear of the Lord, and his commitment to the God’s command.
Warning: donkeys were definitely harmed in the making of this story.
Although Joshua would later lead Israel in Capturing Canaan, there were some wild encounters and adventures back in their time of wilderness wandering. Numbers 21 records several great victories by the hand of the Lord. Today we pick up in Numbers 22 with the trembling king of Moab. He wondered if he would be the next enemy to be trampled by these wandering worshippers of the Almighty God.
The book of Numbers records the events and travels of the Israelites. The first section records the events during the year in the wilderness of Sinai, following by the trails in the plains of Moab, and ending with preparations for conquering Canaan. Numbers can be a bit of a hard read because of the strange mix of information. In some sections we have armies and tribal counts, in others we have records of commands, offerings, and ceremonial law. However, there are several very interesting stories sprinkled throughout the book! For instance, the story of Balaamʼs disobedience, and the story of Phinehas, son of Eleazar (weʼll take a look at these stories in upcoming weeks!).
Today we’re going to jump forward to the New Testament to learn about a man named Apollos. But before we do, we need to meet some other folks. There are just some characters that you can’t dig into without first digging into the people that surround them.
In fact, just to get our brains in gear, let’s try out some examples. Take a minute and comment below with an answer for a couple of the blanks, but don’t hog them all (or as we might say in redemption, limit 3).
___ and Robin
___ and Tonto
___ and Chewbacca
___ and Dr. Watson
___ and Garfunkel
___, ___, ___, and the Human Torch
___ and Jerry
___ and Ernie
___ and Cher
___ and Lois Lane
___, ___, ___, and Donatello
These team-ups and duos exist in movies, in books, in cartoons, in music, and yes EVEN in the Bible…
The book of judges can be summed up in a 4 word cycle – Sin, Slavery, Sorrow, Salvation. These 4 words sound great if they were a path to salvation… but they stink as a repeating cycle! Our story today is only one of a dozen similar stories in the book. Yet when God’s people turned to Him, He heard their cry and saved them.
In the time of the Judges, there were many enemies that oppressed God’s people.
When Sisera was the commander of Canaan’s army, God raised up Deborah to be Israel’s deliverer. Not only did Deborah become Israel’s first female Judge, but a prophetess who shared the very words of God with the people. Let’s take a look at the unusual story that God would weave through this incredible woman.
Today as we look at the Old Testament, the Israelites are under the direction of the leader and judge named Joshua. He is still famous today for the mighty battle of Jericho; whose unbreakable walls were brought down by obeying God’s cool, yet strange, plan. But we don’t hear much about the battle of Ai, have you heard of it? Well in order to understand why “Ai” doesn’t show up at the top of Joshua’s resume, we’ll need to look at Jericho’s great battle first.