Life can be extremely challenging so we need to have courage as we face our battles. That’s why it is so important to invite Jesus into these battles because His presence is our best weapon. When we have faith in Jesus, we have a plan for victory and the courage to step ahead. As we read Judges 11, we note that Jephthah was the eighth judge who had these qualities as a leader of the people of Israel.
In the early life of Jephthah, he was sent away in exile because his half-brothers said he was an illegitimate son of their father. While away in exile, he worked at becoming a skilled fighter with the ability to wage war. As the years passed by, the people of Gilead were in need of a leader to fight against the Ammonites so they went to Jephthah for help.
At first Jephthah refused to help the people of Gilead but then accepted once the people listened to him and agreed to give him their full allegiance if he would defeat the Ammonites. Since Jephthah had gained the skills that the people needed, he began his strategy to wage war against the Ammonites.
His first action as leader was to dispute the territorial borders. The Ammonites had claimed that the region was originally their land and they had the right to get it back but Jephthah told them about the history. He defended Israel’s right to the land and that the Ammonites had no claim to it so the dispute of territorial borders persisted between the Gileadites and the Ammonites.
Jephthah knew the history and argued with the Ammonites that the ONE true God gave Israel the land over 300 years ago and that if they wanted the land back, they needed to ask the help of their own gods who they worshipped.
Even though Jephthah was a highly motivated person that had gained the needed skills along with the courage to take action, he felt he had to make a vow to God in exchange for victory. The vow was to sacrifice the first thing that walked through the door of his house to meet him after the battle was won (v. 31). After victory, his daughter was the first to walk through the door to meet him. She was his only child but they both kept their vow to the Lord so this ended the clan of Jephthah.
Fortunately for us in current times, all we have to do is accept Christ as Savior. We don’t need to make a vow with a blood sacrifice for victory. He’s already given us the victory by accepting the sacrifice of His Son and all we need to have is the courage to carry out God’s Plan For Us.
This day with You Lord, we have the determination and believe You will help us face our battles. You will set things up for us to accomplish things that we once thought impossible. Others will begin to follow once they see that with You by our side, victory is guaranteed. Amen.