Today’s passage: Judges 11:29-40
- Remember, the fact that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Jephthah did not mean that he was a godly man making godly decisions. It means God was going to use to him to accomplish His will concerning Israel and the Ammonites.
- Jephthah did not know that the Spirit of the Lord was already using him. God’s involvement had already begun. God was not wowed or lured by this foolish vow.
- Ammonite kings sacrificed their children to their pagan gods.
- God gave Israel a way to make right any foolish oath that they could/should not keep (Leviticus 5:4-6), but Jephthah and his daughter were more familiar with the ways of pagans then they were with God’s revealed will. They were simply inserting the Lord into a version of pagan worship.
- God did not accept this “sacrifice”. It did not please Him in any way. (Deuteronomy 12:29-32)
Questions to consider:
- Was the Spirit of the Lord upon Jephthah before or after he made his deal/vow? Was Jephthah right to try to offer God a burnt offering in exchange for a military victory? Is that how God works? (Hosea 6:6)
- In what ways is this narrative the opposite of Genesis 22 (God’s testing of Abraham with Isaac)?
- How do we become more like the world? In what ways are you seeing, hearing, learning and even participating in it’s customs? What will your love for Jesus Christ motivate you to do that will allow you to be in the world but not of it?