Read Judges 10:1
Israel forsakes the Lord and worships idols; Israel oppressed by Ammonites for 18 years; Ammonites defeated. Jephthah's remarkable loyalty to God; his vow and victory; the depth of dedication of his only child. Read how God could be so pleased with her and Jephthah.
Who would have looked in Syria, where idolatry was almost universal, for a captain of the army of the Lord? How wonderful that an illegitimate son would one day become the only person among all the thousands of Israelites who was qualified to be Judge in Israel.
Jephthah, because of the illegitimacy of his birth, was disinherited by his father's house. The elders of Gilead (Judg. 11:5,7) forced him to leave the land of promise. Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah (11:1).
When he was driven from his home in Gilead, Jephthah went to his mother's country in the land of Tob (11:3), a small Syrian state (II Sam. 10:6,8). It was a land of idols; yet Jephthah had lived long enough in the promised land to acquire a deep and lasting faith in Israel's God. In exile, Jephthah remained faithful to God while surrounded by idolators for about eighteen years.
Because he had been excommunicated from Israel, Jephthah could have said: "Why should I try to do anything for the glory of God?" But this man of faith had gained a reputation for vindicating the cause of Jehovah and had been so victorious in battle that all Israel turned to him in the day of their distress. He was the only man who was qualified to respond to the Ammonites' threat to attack the Israelites, and the people made him head (judge) and captain (of Israel's army) over them (Judg. 11:11).
Jephthah illustrates that the Lord's estimation of men is often different than ours, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart (I Sam. 16:7).
Israel's attitude toward Jephthah was contemptible, but the day came when Israel discovered how much they needed him. Jephthah's difficulties prepared him for the future and only God knows what we need as we face the future.
God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty . . . That no flesh should glory in His presence. . . . That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the God (I Cor. 1:27-31).
Thought for Today:
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Matt. 7:15).
By Jephthah's only child as she wholly submitted to her father's will even as Jesus wholly submitted to His Father's will (Judg. 11:34-40). On the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed: Not as I will, but as Thou wilt (Matt. 26:39).
10:8 vexed afflicted, grievously oppressed; 10:14 cry unto ask for help from; 11:2 strange foreign; 11:3 vain renegade; 11:23 dispossessed driven out; 11:34 timbrels tambourines; 11:35 opened my mouth made a vow.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Audrey Hash • Government Officials: Gov. Lincoln Chafee (RI), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT), and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) • Staff: Ilene Wallace • Country: Barbados (259,000) on the island farthest east in the West Indies • Major language: English • Religious freedom • 79% Protestant; 8% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Realize that you are insufficient (Eph. 6:10-11).
Optional Reading: John 17:1
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 1:8