Tag: Jephthah’s vow
Scripture reading for March 12th: Judges 9-12
“Likewise, whatever the Lord our God has given us, we will possess.” ( Judges 11:24)
A spirit of faith is a wonderful gift. It comes from choosing to believe and obey God. Jephthah, one of Israel’s judges spoke these words. Jephthah was an interesting man who was born from the union of his father and a prostitute before his father married and settled down. Jephthah was later rejected by his stepmother and fled his family when threatened by his stepbrothers. He was ridiculed and made fun of because of his shady background. Jephthah learned to fight and became a mighty warrior.
The Ammonites rose up and began to make war against Israel and the elders of Gilead approached Jephthah to come back home and help them fight. They promised him headship over the Gilead tribe if he would help them. They swore before the Lord that they would do just that. (Judges 11:10-11) Jephthah began negotiations with the Ammonites, seeking to persuade them to back off. They refused to listen. (Judges 11:28) Jephthah knew that God had given the land to Israel and he would not let it go. (Judges 11:21-23) What God had given them to possess, they would possess!
The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah and he moved to attack these brash Ammonites. As he advanced, he made a vow to the Lord to give to Him whatever came out of the door of his house when he returned from the battle. (Judges 11:31) God gave him an overwhelming victory and they possessed the land that was theirs and defeated their enemies.
The bad news was that as Jephthah arrived at home, his beautiful virgin daughter danced out of the door of his house to meet him! She was an only child and was deeply loved by her father and mother. Jephthah remembered his vow and evidently kept it although it hurt him deeply. (Judges 11:35-39)
There are several lessons that we can get from this interesting story. First, our background should not keep us from walking in faith. We are not victims, but victors through faith in God! Second, be careful what vows you make. Sometimes our words can be careless and vows are serious issues. We must let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no”. (James 5:12) When God has called us to fight, He will give us the victory. We don’t have to bargain with Him to get Him to act on our behalf! God is for us!