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.