Read Judges 11
To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+11&version=NLT
Scripture- Judges 11:30- And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord. He said, “If you give me victory over the Ammonites, I will give to the Lord whatever comes out of my house to meet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”
Observations- There are a number of interesting things to note in this chapter. First of all, there is no evidence in the text that God chose Jephthah to be the next judge; rather we are told the people came and asked him. It doesn’t mention if God was consulted, which is not a small detail. It turned out that God was able to use Jephthah quite effectively as a leader, but he did have some significant constraints like his bitterness over the way his family treated him and the rash, foolhardy vow he made to the Lord after victory. The vow led him to believe he had to offer his own daughter as a burnt sacrifice.
Application- As I read this text, I want to shout at Jephthah that it is a stupid vow and God doesn’t want him to keep it, for, of course, God never asked for or desired human sacrifices. What was he thinking?! Obviously, he wasn’t thinking about all the potential consequences of his lousy vow. But how many of us are guilty of making commitments, not necessarily for the Lord but for ourselves, that lead us to do something that harms someone we say we care about deeply? The way that we choose to do life has consequences for others. Many of our choices can lead to unforeseen, unintended results that cause other people deep, long term pain. While it's easy to disregard Jepthah, maybe we are not really all that different from him after all. Perhaps, however, when we realize we’ve made a lousy choice, we can repent and go in a new direction that is healthier and life giving for all concerned.
Prayer- Help me, O Lord, learn the lessons You have for me in Your Word from examples from the likes of Jephthah. When I make a mistake or make a commitment against Your will, give me the wisdom and courage to change course quickly. Thank You, God, for the gift of Jesus Christ to walk with me through all of my bad decisions and needed course corrections. Amen.
"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice- the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him." (Romans 12:1),
To contact me: reply to this email...it only comes to me.
To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com