Israel forsakes the Lord and worships idols; Israel oppressed by Ammonites for 18 years; Ammonites defeated. Don't miss Jephthah. He had a remarkable loyalty to God. Read about his vow and victory and the depth of dedication of his only child. Read how God could be so proud of her and Jephthah.
Verses for Today:
Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and . . . did . . . . according to his vow (Judg. 11:30,39).
After years of suffering, the children of Israel said unto the Lord, We have sinned. . . . And they put away the strange (foreign) gods from among them, and served the Lord (10:15-16). And . . . the elders . . . said unto Jephthah . . . be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon (11:5-6).
Jephthah prayed: If Thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me . . . shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering (11:30-31). Likewise the Spirit also helped our infirmities. . . . according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:26-28).
In answer to Jephthah's prayer, God arranged that Jephthah's daughter should be the first to meet him. Jephthah knew the Scriptures well and human sacrifices were condemned by God (Lev. 20:2-5; Deut, 12:29-31; 18:10-12). How could one imagine that this man of God would cut the throat of his daughter to offer her as a burnt offering? To do that would have made God, as well as this man of faith, responsible for a vile murder, since it was the Spirit of the Lord who gave Jephthah his victory (Judg. 11:29,32).
How he fulfilled his vow is obvious: She was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter (11:34). The Lord had declared that the firstborn were to be "sanctified" — not sacrificed: It is Mine (Ex. 13:2; Num. 3:13). And his daughter's response to Jephthah's vow made the outcome unmistakably clear. She asked for two months . . . (to) go up and down upon the mountains . . . (to) bewail my virginity (mourn that I will never marry and will have no children to carry on our family name) (Judg. 11:37). Undoubtedly she had the honor of being one of the servants of God in the Tabernacle in lifelong chastity.
God highly honored Jephthah as one of the heroes of faith: Of Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises (Heb. 11:32-33).
Thought for Today:
How thankful we are, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us (Rom. 8:26).
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 honor of Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr (UT) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) • Country: China, Mainland (1.242 billion) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Standard Chinese (Putonghua) or Mandarin (based on the Beijing dialect) • Renewed persecution of the Church • 16% Asian (including Fulun Gong); 8% Buddhist; 3% Muslim; number of Christians unknown but growing; 10% Atheist • Prayer Suggestion: During times of trouble, pray constantly and ask for patience (Rom. 12:12).
Optional Reading: John 17
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9-10