Summary: Have you ever had a person in your life who made you wander if he was a good influence or a bad influence? There are things that have to be weighed out to make a right judgment. Some things may not be as they seem to the casual observer. God knows.
JEPHTHAH- "whom God sets free"
No time to be idle or enveloped in a pity party.
Heb. 11:32 ¶ And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Central Reading Text-------Judges 11:1,29-35
Jephthah was the son of a prostitute. His dad, Gilead messed up one time and his son is paying the consequences.
To the family, Jephthah is an embarrassment. They bullied on him until he left town.
It would seem that he was dysfunctional; a loser; a second class person.
The devil wants you to feel like an outcast. That way he believes that you will never develop into what you could be for God.
The devil meant it for evil, but God had another plan.
Ge 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
II. Requested (vs. 4,5)
There came a time (some say it was about 40 years later), that the Ammonites made war with Israel. Immediately, they thought about Jephthah, and went to seek him to lead their army.
That speaks volumes. While the Gileadites were twiddling their thumbs, Jephthah was occupying himself.
Ec 9:10a Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;
Without a doubt, in his solitude, he learned and practiced with his sword, his spear, and his sling. His skill was known throughout the land.
He refused to be idle and lazy during a "down time" in his life.
Other "vain" men gathered unto him in Tob. These were men who had suffered similiar fate. They were empty, needing an example and a leader.
From the following verses, we see that he also had a good handle on the Scriptures. When the Ammonites tell him why Israel needed to get off the land, he commenced to explain to them, with accuracy, how Abraham had came by and obtained the land years ago.
That speaks of his study and meditation of the Word of God and the promises of God.
Once again, it is evident that Jephthah had spent some time in the Holy Scriptures of his day.
He was prepared for the task. All of a sudden, this man who had been at the bottom of the totem pole, is now being begged to be the military leader of Israel.
Now, what are you doing in your time of "displacement". God has plans for your future. It may seem futile, but you better be using your time preparing.
Jephthah spoke with the Ammonites to see if they would back down (vs.27,28). When they refused to retreat, God came by and gave Jephthah of His Spirit.
There are a select few of Old Testament people who had the Spirit of the Lord come upon them. This was a very special blessing and help.
III. Reasonable but Rash Vow
The making of a vow indicates commitment.
Shortly after having the Spirit of the Lord coming down upon him, he determined to show his devotion to God by making a vow (vs. 30,31). It seemed reasonable enough at the time, and he was serious about giving anything up to God.
Note: As great as it is to be filled with the Spirit; this does not make a person infallible. In fact, sometimes we feel overconfident and speak or act too quickly.