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Bible Pathways - March 26, 2007



Judges 10 

In Today's Scripture Reading:

Israel forsakes the Lord and worships idols; Israel oppressed by Ammonites for 18 years; Jephthah's daughter dedicated to God

After much suffering because they worshiped false gods (Judges 10:8), 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 it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead. . . . said unto Jephthah, Come, and 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). 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 (Leviticus 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 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 (Judges 11:29,32).

How he fulfilled his vow becomes clear as we consider all the facts. 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 (Exodus 13:2; Numbers 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 . . . the mountains to bewail (lament) my virginity (Judges 11:37) — meaning to "bewail that I will never marry." Undoubtedly, in lifelong chastity, she became one of the servants of God in the Tabernacle.

Jephthah was highly honored as one of the heroes of faith: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises (Hebrews 11:32-33).

Word Studies:

11:3 vain men =b> worthless renegades; 11:37 fellows =b> virgin female companions; 11:40 lament =b> commemorate.

Christ Portrayed:

By Jephthah's only child as she wholly submitted to her father's will even as Jesus wholly submitted to His Father's will (Judges 11:34-40). On the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed: Not as I will, but as Thou wilt (Matthew 26:39).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. V.R. Stuebing, Jr. Staff: George Kopchak Government Officials: Sec. Elaine Chao (Department of Labor), Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr (UT), Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA), and Sen. Lincoln Chafee (RI) Country: Liberia (3 million) in West Africa Major languages: English and more than 20 local languages of the Niger-Congo language group Religious freedom 41% ancestor worship and witchcraft; 21% Muslim; 13% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic Prayer Suggestion: Don't try to impress others with your prayers; pray about whatever is on your heart (Matthew 6:7-8).

Optional Reading: John 17

Memory Verse for the Week: II Peter 1:6

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