Today, we will explore the life of Jephthah and learn how his calling from God is actually similar to our own. In Hebrews 11:32-34 Jephthah is described as one “who through faith conquered kingdoms . . . and became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” As we read his story in Judges 10-12, we see a mastermind dealing with the enemy. The Scriptures call him “a mighty warrior.” Interestingly, we learn that Jephthah’s family life was anything but happy. His mother was a prostitute, and his half-brothers drove him away in order to prevent him from getting any of his father’s inheritance. “So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob, where a group of adventurers gathered around him and followed him” (Judges 11:3). We can only assume from the word adventurers, that Jephthah was hanging out with a group of outcasts. Ironically, the Israelites ran to Jephthah to lead their army when they were attacked by their Ammonite enemy. Even Jephthah was surprised by their initiative. As they offered to let him become their new ruler if he would lead them into victory, he accepted the challenge. The Ammonite king accused the Israelites of stealing their land. However, Jephthah confronted the lies of the enemy and used the historical accounts of the Israelites to reveal the truth concerning how the Amorites had attacked them and lost their land to the victorious Israelites.
Let us look at some of the parallels to our own lives. Many of us have difficult pasts. We too have stories of rejection and shame. We too have at times chosen relationships with people who may not have encouraged our spiritual life, but who offered us acceptance and a sense of belonging. But we too have been called to step out of our familiar and comfortable lifestyle and take a stand against the enemy in the Lord’s battle for righteousness. God calls us to turn away from an ungodly worldview and join in His army, standing firm against the enemy.
Regardless of our past, God gives us a new identity in Christ and releases us from shame. Though others may reject us or call us demeaning names, the Lord gives us honorable titles: the bride of Christ, daughter of the King of kings, redeemed, righteous, precious and honored, loved, cherished one, white as snow, beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made, chosen, valuable, and the list goes on. The enemy throws lies at us telling us we deserve to be defeated and that we cannot be set free. But if we turn to God’s Word, we see hundreds of promises and words of hope - that we are victorious and more than conquerors in Christ Jesus (see Romans 8:37-39). Like Jephthah, accept God’s challenge today to engage in the battle against the enemy. Do not give in to the lies of the enemy. Use the Truths of God’s Word to stand against Satan. Do not run from God’s call to join in the battle, but rather, through prayer, the power of the Spirit, and God’s Word, be victorious! “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
Today’s Bible Reading: Judges 10-12; Romans 8:37-39; 2 Corinthians 10:4