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.
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.