Friday, November 3rd, 2017
Imperfect Heroes (Part 26)
Now Jephthah of Gilead was a great warrior. He was the son of Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute. Gilead's wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land.
Judges 11:1-2 (NLT)
One name appears in the Faith Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11) many saints don't know: Jephthah.* When we re-read his curious story, we're still wondering: Why was he mentioned?
Yes, he was 'A mighty man of valor' (Judges 11:1, NKJV), but also an illegitimate son. Once grown, his brothers ran him out of town. So he teamed up with some other tough guys, and they became a notorious gang.
But when a big war threatened Israel, Jephthah was asked to come home and lead them. He agreed if one condition was met: when they won, he would continue to lead. Then he prayed to God and made a rash vow.
He did win, but Jephthah's vow flipped on him in a dreadful way that makes us angry. Why is he seen as a Bible hero?
1) According to God, Jephthah had great faith.
2) He was treated cruelly by his kin.
3) He was a skilled and courageous fighter.
4) God used him to deliver Israel.
5) He kept the vow he wished he had not made.**
To Be Continued...
* Good article: Jephthah: Hero or Villain? http://www.offthegridnews.com/current-events/top-headlines/jephthah-hero-or-villain/
* Another Article: Who was Jephthah? https://www.gotquestions.org/who-was-Jephthah.html
** Article about Jephthah's vow: Did Jephthah actually kill his daughter? http://thetorah.com/did-jephthah-actually-kill-his-daughter/
** See Psalm 15 (a short Psalm), especially Verse 4: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+15&version=NLT
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Imperfect Heroes series.