Wednesday, June 12
Today's reading: Judges 11:12-28
Jephthah was a wise warrior and leader. I say that because of the way he approaches the situation with the Ammonites. A confrontation with the Ammonites is unavoidable. But instead of presuming that the conflict between them can only be resolved through a battle, Jephthah chooses a different approach. Rather than rallying the troops and charging in to start a war, he first engages the king in conversation with the following question.
"What do you have against me, that you have come to me to fight against my land?" (vs. 12)
Not only is the question an appropriate one, it's also delivered in a respectful tone to prevent the already tense situation from escalating. When the response comes back from the king, Jephthah listens to and considers the answer. And then, when Jephthah doesn't agree with what the king says in his response, he again responds wisely. Maintaining a civil tone, Jephthah sets forth facts and speaks truth in an effort to avoid unnecessary war and bloodshed between the two nations. Unfortunately, the king chooses not to listen to Jephthah and war ensues anyway--but it is only after taking these wise measures that Jephthah enters into battle.
What's the most important lesson about conflict that you noticed or learned from Jephthah's exchange with the king of Ammon, and why? What's one thing you noticed or learned about being a leader from Jephthah's example? Tami
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