“Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites.”
~ Judges 11:29
Hi James and Ellen,
Do you ever feel like you are different than your friends? Your grandmaa’s high school senior classmates voted your grandmaa to be one of the shyest gals in their graduating class. Do you ever wish that you could run faster? Ask your dad if he ever won any of the races that he ran in during Tambo’s Field Days. Do you ever wish that you looked different? Your grandpaa’s sis – Kate, told your grandpaa – when your grandpaa was a kid, that he had big ears. Do you ever wish that you had a different dad and/or ma? Your grandpaa has not heard this as a fact but it would not surprise your grandpaa that there are fewer kids today who are living here in the United States who are living with both their biological dad and ma than who are living today here in the United States with just their dad or with just their ma or with their dad and a step ma or with their ma and a step dad or with a grandparent or with grandparents or with a guy and/or gal or with a guy or guys or with a gal or gals who is or are not family. Do you sometimes think that life is unfair? Would you like to be street kids? A street kid is a kid who is living on the street after having left or having been told to leave his or her home because he or she could no longer live for one reason or another in the same house with who is living in the house. Do you sometimes think that your friends are getting a lot better deal in life than you are? Philanthropic, humanitarian agencies – such as Food for the Hungry, Compassion International, World Vision, etc. exist today because there are places all over planet Earth where kids are suffering malnutrition and life threatening starvation. Do you sometimes think that your life will never amount to anything? God created you to be who He created you to be and do – which is to be always reflecting His glory back to Him and to joy in Him in everything at all times; God did not create you for you to measure your value in life against who you are, what you do and what you have – which is a misguided mindset that is being perpetrated by a westernized society that has made position, power and prestige its’ mutated, morphed gods versus maintaining a Judeo-Christian belief paradigm that has as its’ principled focus a Divine Being Who always keeps His watchful eyes on His elected souls, Who uses His nail scarred hands to freely pass out the salvation gift and Who uses His soft voice to promise eternal security to each guy, gal and kid who God – as God the Spirit, leads to and through His faith/grace door. Only by the grace of God – as God the Father, is the faith/grace door opened for a guy, gal or kid to go through. God – as God the Spirit, uses the faith gift that God – as God the Father, has embedded in a guy, gal or kid to divinely lead the guy, gal or kid to and through the faith/grace door and then to cause the guy, gal or kid as he or she is going through the grace/faith door to absolutely believe that what is inside the open door is amazingly true.
Would you like to be a Jephthah? Jephthah’s ma was a prostitute. Jephthah was not accepted by his half bros. Jephthah’s half bros told him to get lost. They did not want him to get a share of their inheritance. Jephthah had to have felt like a reject. Even though Jephthah had the same dad as his half bros; Jephthah was treated unfairly and as an outcast because of his ma’s life status. Jephthah had to have felt a lack of respect. What would you have done if you had been Jephthah? Jephthah’s real life story is found in Judges 11. Jephthah grew up in the town of Gilead. The town of Gilead was located on the east side of the Jordon River – in the land area which once had been Ammonite people group’s land. Jephthah would move to the town of Tob. The town of Tob was in the country of Syria. After Jephthah had relocated to the town of Tob, the Ammonite people group guys began making the life of Jephthah’s half bros and their families – who were living in the town of Gilead, really difficult. Jephthah – by this time, had accumulated a gang of adventuresome dudes who looked to Jephthah to be their leader. When things got really rough for Jephthah’s half bros, they contacted Jephthah to ask him to return home and to take on the Ammonite people group guys who were making their lives miserable. After getting his half bros to reinstate him into his family, Jephthah headed home where he confronted the Ammonite people group guys. The Ammonite people group guys tried to convince Jephthah that they were in the right to reclaim the town of Gilead because of Moses having taken the town of Gilead from them 300 years earlier. Jephthah knew his history. Jephthah told the Ammonite people group king that Moses had gone out of the way to get permission to pass through the land of his heritage but when his people – the Ammonite people group guys and gals, decided that they did not trust the Israelite people group guys and gals, they attacked them – resulting in the Israelite people group guys overpowering them. When the Ammonite people group guys ignored Jephthah telling them not to do what they wanted to do, verse 29 says, “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites.” Jephthah and his guys did a number on the Ammonite people group guys. Jephthah’s great victory ends sadly because of a vow that Jephthah made to God that he would sacrifice the first person who came out of his house after he got home – if God helped him to defeat the Ammonite people group guys. The first person who came out of Jephthah’s house when he got home was his only kid – his daughter.
Jephthah could have let his growing up relationship with his half bros destroy his confidence. Jephthah could have let being a prostitute’s kid affect negatively who was as a guy. Jephthah could have let a radical band of guys from an idolatrous country curb his God-walk but . . . Jephthah because of what he did made it on God’s judge list.
Judges 11 (815)