Summary: Wild people who God used for wild assignments.
Scandal had been rumored in Ramoth-Gilead. It was said that one of the village’s leading citizens had become involved in an illicit sexual affair with a local woman of the street.
Gilead, this man in the city of Ramoth-Gilead, that was his name, had been publicly named as the father of a child that was being carried by a common prostitute.
Unlike many men who walk away from offspring born under such circumstances, Gilead, to his credit, we find takes full responsibility for his act. When the infant was born, he takes it into his home and effectively raises it as one of his own family.
Scandal had been rumored in Ramoth-Gilead. It was said that one of the village’s leading citizens had become involved in an illicit sexual affair with a local woman of the street
Wonder what his wife must have felt with that child in the home, knowing the failings of her husband.
But we read from God’s word that in process of time other sons were born to Gilead of his true wife, and those sons would have taken their place in the family circle and hierarchy.
We find that it wasn’t long after those sons were born until they grow, and they look down on this son of a prostitute and their father, and they begin to see him in a different light.
Jephthah was a wild thang because it all began because he was the son of a harlot (vs. 1)
What did he feel like? Rejection is a fuel that motivates isolation from others
Whether rejection as a child, rejection as an junior higher, as a high school teenager, as a young adult, rejection as a spouse, rejection as a father or a mother. We could go on and on and give myriads of examples, but the fact of the matter is: many who experience rejection do exactly what Jephthah did.
What was that? They react to rejection by running away. That’s what he did.
He was a bad dude, good with a weapon (vs. 1), the odd stepson (vs. 2) and so he associated with those who accepted him – other worthless friends who perhaps have been rejected (vs. 3)
How God Changed a Worthless Wild Thang into a Winning Warrior
1. Your Past Doesn’t Always Define Your Future (vs. 4-6)
Even if you try to move away – people remember because they have that picture snapshot of you
The people of Israel remembered how bad of a dude Jephthah was with a weapon – he was a valiant warrior – But they also remembered he had a bad lineage
Illustration: Scarab Beetles
Many people find beetles and bugs somewhat creepy, but if here’s one beetle in the world that could turn you into a beetle lover - the jewel scarab.
Jewel scarab’s live in the jungles of Honduras and have the shape of your regular Christmas beetle. But their colours are so dazzling and beautiful that they can sell for up to $500 a beetle.
Beautiful flaming reds, bright golds, silvers that resemble bright, shiny chrome. Even the beetle hater finds jewel scarabs dazzling and beautiful!
But the jewel scarab’s beauty doesn’t come automatically. Every scarab has modest, even ugly beginnings.
The scarab starts life as a soft, mushy, grey-white grub growing inside a rotting tree stump.
They spend their life like this for around a year, until finally, when the rainy season arrives, the adult scarabs emerge soft bodied and pale.
Then within hours, their bodies harden and their splendid colours show.
They only live for another three months, but what a glorious existence it is.
People are just like scarabs. We may not feel terribly beautiful and attractive.
In fact there may be parts of you that feel distinctly ugly – and I’m not talking just about your body, but about your spirit, your mind, your thought life, your character, your home.
But it’s the work of the Spirit of God to make us beautiful.
It may seem to take a lifetime, but as the Spirit works on us, we will emerge as beautiful, dazzling, shining creatures gloriously bearing the image of our Creator.
2.Your Attitude Influences Determines Actions (vs. 7-8)
Every Wild Thang has a cause to fight for --
A Wild Thang without the right cause becomes destructive
Jephthah could have become angry at his half-brothers for scorning his heritage.
Anger is natural – but when it is suppressed, it becomes bitterness
Illustration: Genghis Khan’s Hawk
One morning Genghis Khan, the great king and warrior, rode out into the woods to have a day’s sport.
Many of his friends were with him. They rode out gaily, carrying their bows and arrows.
Behind them came the servants with the hounds. It was a merry hunting party.
The woods rang with their shouts and laughter. They expected to carry much game home in the evening.