Continuing my thoughts on a few of the Judges. Today Jephthah. The first thing a lot of people say about Jephthah is that he’s the guy who made the rash vow and as a result sacrificed his daughter. I have my own thoughts on all that, did he, didn’t he etc…but this is not the time to go into it haha. Anyway. So we know he made the rash vow but as I looked again at the life of Jephthah God spoke to me about his beginnings…
You can read about Jephthah from Judges chapter 10 onwards. He is a man of low beginnings as far as the world was concerned. He was the illegitimate child of a prostitute and as such he was driven away by his brothers and was disqualified from his fathers inheritance – no family, no future and perceived as a wretch by those closest to him. But this was the man that God chose and if God chooses you then you are truly blessed, as far from wretched as can be!
Jephthah was a man who defied his upbringing. As far as the world was concerned he was an outcast. In God’s eyes he was chosen as you and I are: God’s workmanship – “created for good works in Christ!” (Eph 2:10)
I like Jephthah because he didn’t stay where he was and sulk but instead he went to the Land of Tob – which means goodness. Already God was taking him from a place of ill-treatment to a land of goodness.
God’s hand was on his life. There was something about him, something of presence so much that, and I love this description – “a group of adventurers gathered around him and followed him.” Jephthah was my kind if guy, the kind of guy we would all want to be around, to inspire faith and adventure!
It wasn’t long until his brothers and others came begging for his help to lead them in battle and we see God raise him up to a place of authority and respect in the eyes of those who had previously chased him away.
Today’s lesson. You are no mistake. Maybe you have been told that. Perhaps you were not ‘planned’ by your parents. Maybe you have been labelled an ‘accident’ but all of those are lies of the devil. You are no mistake.
Jephthah lived through this – in the people’s eyes he simply shouldn’t have been and he certainly wasn’t entitled to much of a future. But God (wonderful words!) BUT GOD knew Jephthah: before the foundations of the world was laid he knew him as a spokesperson to nations long before the world existed – God intended Jephthah for good and the same is true for you! God knows all about you; your innermost thoughts, the desires of your heart, the number of hairs on you head, your hopes for a great future. You are known by God and by that statement any stigma or label of ‘mistake’ simply and quickly evaporates! Hallelujah!
The most wonderful thing about this whole story was that his brothers had claimed he was disqualified from his inheritance – but we see from Hebrews 11 that Jephthah is one considered by God as a hero of the faith. Jephthah has received the greatest inheritance of all – eternity with the God he served, the God who knew him, the same God who knows you too. You are no mistake.