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Monday, March 3 2014
Judges 11: Jephthah's Vow
"Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?"
Jephthah is a prime example of how the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) looks at what you do, your character, not who or where you happen to be, or the character or circumstances of your ancestors:
"11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah." (Judges 11:1 KJV)
Jephthah was an outcast - in the eyes of hypocrites ("3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:20-23 KJV). The greatest hypocrites of all were those who had the same father as Jephthah.
"11:2 And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman. 11:3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him." (Judges 11:2-3 KJV)
The Ammonites originated from Lot's son Ammon (Lot was a nephew of Abraham; see Genesis 13: The Parting of Abram and Lot and Why Did Lot's Wife Look Back?). The Ammonites were often allied with the Moabites, who together opposed Israel from time to time, including during the era of the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges) - according to the Will of the LORD.
When those who had treated Jephthah with contempt found themselves too weak in their own defense, they cried out to Jephthah to help them. It was actually the LORD who was calling Jephthah, so "Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands" (verse 32, below).
"11:4 And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel. 11:5 And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: 11:6 And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.
As we read in verse 31 above, before Jephthah entered the battle, he vowed "that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering." Jephthah was obviously thinking of an animal when he made the vow; unfortunately, humans, including his own daughter, also may be defined as an "it."
"11:34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. 11:35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.
Fact Finder: When will Jephthah's daughter be resurrected from the ashes ("I will offer it up for a burnt offering")? Did the LORD ever command Abraham to offer a "burnt offering"?
This Day In History, March 3
1575: Mughal Emperor Akbar of India defeated the Bengali army at the Battle of Tukaroi.
1847: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1857: Britain and France declared war on China to begin the Second Opium War.
1861: Serfdom was abolished in Russia by Czar Alexander II.
1875: The first organized hockey game was played, in Montreal, Canada.
1878: The peace treaty at San Stefano was signed, ending the Russo-Turkish War and gaining independence for Serbia.
1904: Kaiser (the German form of "Caesar") Wilhelm II of Germany becomes the first person to make a sound recording of a political document, using Thomas Edison's phonograph cylinder.
1905: Czar Nicholas II of Russia created an elected representative assembly, known as the Duma.
1913: Thousands of women marched in Washington, D.C. demanding the right of women to vote in the land "where all men are created equal."
1918: Germany and its allies signed the treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia, ending hostilities between them in the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1919: The first international air mail was flown from Vancouver, British Columbia to Seattle, Washington.
1919: The world's financial cost for the First World War was estimated to be about $197 billion.
1921: Dr. Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best of Toronto announced the discovery of insulin.
1924: 5 months after Turkey was made a republic on October 29 1923, the Grand National Assembly abolished the caliphate of the Ottoman empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1938: Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.
1966: John Lennon set off an international protest when he was quoted in the London Evening Standard as saying that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus Christ."
1991: Latvia and Estonia voted for independence from the Soviet Union.
2002: The people of Switzerland narrowly voted in favor of becoming a member of the United Nations.