1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead begot Jephthah.
There are a lot of people today who let their upbringing define them. They live their lives believing that God can never use them because of the upbringing they had, that they will never understand the love of God because of the relationship they had with their father, and the list goes on. The reality is, that God is bigger than our upbringing. Jephthah was a mighty man of valor, even though he was the son of a prostitute. We must seek to let God define us, always!
And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, 31 then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.”
This is a difficult bit of scripture to fully understand. However, what is easy to glean from the text is the importance of keeping our vows. Promises are made so cavalierly, people just don’t take them seriously. As Christians, we must make sure that we do what we say we are going to do.
And it was so at the end of two months that she returned to her father, and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man. And it became a custom in Israel
I do not believe that this sacrifice was a literal sacrifice as in death, but rather it was a sacrifice of remaining a virgin all of her life. Having children in that culture was extremely important, this would have been an ultimate sacrificial offering to the Lord. Jephthah kept his vow.
then they would say to him, “Then say, ‘Shibboleth’!” And he would say, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right. Then they would take him and kill him at the fords of the Jordan. There fell at that time forty- two thousand Ephraimites.
This is one of those accounts in Scripture which I find to be very interesting. As I have said before, I love these little insights into the things that happened.
So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him.
People are always watching Christians in the hopes that they will find things to be critical of them. We need to make sure that we aren’t making their job easy. It will be easy for them to make something up, to justify themselves, but when we are living above reproach, the truth sets us free and the stage is set for th Holy Spirit to bring them under greater conviction.
20 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God.
This is the beginning of Luke’s account of Jesus’s sermon on the Mount of Beatitudes.
“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
This is always a convicting verse for me. It is easy to love people who I like and people who like me back. But, to love someone who doesn’t like me, now that is quite a different story. Only in the strength of Jesus is such a thing even possible.
46 “ But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?
The convicting truth of this verse is, we cannot call him Lord unless we do the things He says. Now, here is the important truth about this verse. We don’t do the things he says so He can be our Lord, He becomes our Lord by grace, and then because of that great love towards us, we do the things He says. This is a very important distinction, the things we do for him, are a reflection of our love for Him.