Summary: Jephthah tells the Ammonites the land God gave the Israelites will not be surrendered back to them. A message about how the enemy is always trying to take back lost territory and how we should respond.

Devil - You Can't Have Back What God Gave Us!

PPT 1 Message Title

PPT 2 Text

Judges 11:23 'Since now the LORD, the God of Israel, drove out the Amorites from before His people Israel, are you then to possess it? (NAS)

Judges 11:23 It was GOD, the God of Israel, who pushed out the Amorites in favor of Israel; so who do you think you are to try to take it over? (MSG)

Jephthah is an amazing individual for a number of reasons, his humble beginnings, his foolish vow, and his awesome faith. Most sermons focus on his family situation, or on his foolish vow, I want to talk about his faith and in particular the sentiment expressed in the verse above: A simple declaration to the Lord's enemies that they can have or take back that which God has given us.

Today I want to do a quick overview of his faith, then spend most of our time talking about not surrendering conquered land back to the enemy.

The scriptures tell us several things about the faith of Jephthah some are clear some you have to deduce. First clearly Hebrews 11 lists him with God's champions:

PPT 3, 4 text

Heb 11:32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets,

Heb 11:33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed [acts of] righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,

Heb 11:34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

You will notice he is listed alongside David, Samuel, and the prophets. A spiritual resume doesn't get much better than that. Also we read this about him:

PPT 5 text

Judges 11:29 Now the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, so that he passed through Gilead and Manasseh; then he passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he went on to the sons of Ammon.

He is one of the few people in the Old Testament that we know had a genuine encounter and movement of the Holy Spirit in and through his life.

Then there are a few more subtle references to his faith:

PPT 6 text

Judges 11:11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at Mizpah.

The elders of Gilead asked Jephthah to help them fight the Ammonites, he agreed on the condition they would make him ruler over the people, terms they accepted. He then goes to a place where the presence of God was and "rehearses," all his words before the Lord. That means in prayer he told God what he agreed to and also most likely asked His assistance and blessing in the matter. The text shows that Jephthah was a man who acknowledged God in all his ways.

Finally as to the strength of his faith in chapter 11 verses 14 - 26 Jephthah relates the spiritual and historical legacy of the Jewish claim to the land the Ammonites were seeking. He knew his bible, he knew his nations history very intimately, He was a man of the word.

So with that established let's move into the crux of Jephthah's statement to the Ammonites and how it relates to us today.

Very simply he says God gave it to us, and you ain't getting it from us. That is a spiritual view point from a man listed in God's hall of faith, it is an attitude all of us as believers should have.

That view point teaches us two important lessons:

1. The enemy is always trying to take back territory he has lost.

2. Resist and don't stop resisting.

1. The enemy is always trying to take back territory he has lost.

Jephthah tells the Ammonites the land they are disputing has been in Israeli hands for 300 years (11:26). 300 years later the Ammonites are still trying to get it back. Now here is a fact that ought to shock you. The land that we are talking about in this story is the land (Gilead) East of the Jordan, where 2 ½ tribes settled. If you were to look at a map today that land encompasses a significant portion of the country we call Jordan. Do you know what the capital of Jordan is? Amman. Amman is the ancient name of the capital of the Ammonite territory. In other words the land the Jews fought for and won, the land Jephthah fought for and kept out of Ammonite hands is this very day under the complete control of the Ammonites (Jordan)!

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Joshua Oprong

commented on Nov 22, 2018

Hallo. Today I did my devotion on this chapter and you have rightly stated Jephataht was a man of faith and valor. His knowledge on the history of the land and dependence on God is in measurable. I got confused on verse 27..can we say his vow was again put to test in this verse? What really happened to the daughter? Can you do another surmon focusing on his family ?

Maurice Mccarthy

commented on Nov 22, 2018

Hi Joshua, I have no plan at this time to do a message on his family, but many others have and if you look around you should be able to get some answers. I don't believe he killed his daughter, but he caused her to be celibate and never get married. In so doing he sacrificed having grandchildren through her line. Thank you for your comments, and I pray God's blessing on your study and ministry.

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