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Commentary » Judges 11:18-Judges 11:28 » Family-Times.net
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Jephthah’s Military Strategy

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As far as leadership traits are concerned, Nehemiah was not that different from outstanding people whose names are far more familiar to us. Our nation’s twenty-sixth president, for example, was a hard-charging leader. Throughout his days in office Theodore Roosevelt was either ha … More

Leadership

Few leaders in the old Testament show more intelligence as a leader than Jephthah. His military strategy was comparable to that of Gideon and David. He knew the history of the tribes and the details of their lives during the Exodus and their invasion of Amorite.

Jephthah led the Israelites into the desert, going east of Edom and Moab, and set up camp on the eastern side of the Arnon River gorge (v. 18). He then sent messengers to the Amorite king asking permission to go through his country to get to the Israelites own land (v. 19). Instead of giving them permission the king called his army together and they attacked the Israelites (v. 20). But God helped Israel defeat the kings army and they took over the Amorite land (vv. 21-22). Jephthah told the king of Ammon that the LORD God of Israel had helped his nation get rid of the Amorites and take their land. Now, how do you think you’re going to take over that same territory (v. 23)? If it was your god (Chemosh) who had given you the land do you think you would have a right to it (v. 24)? The same is true with us. Balak, who was king of Moab didn’t quarrel with us or start a war (v. 25).

For over 300 years Ammon had not tried to recover the land she now claimed that Israel had illegally taken it (v.26). Jephthah concluded that right was on his side and that God would be the judge (v. 27). However the Ammonite king was completely unimpressed by Jephthah’s reasoning. He would not listen to logic but instead was determined to conquer (v.28).

Application

It is easy to think certain things are rightfully mine and even get involved in a verbal battle concerning it. It is much easier in life to turn over everything to the Lord because everything I have is rightfully His. He can take much better care of it than I can and it will save me lots of worry and anxiety.

Judges 11:18-28 (English Standard Version)

""Then they journeyed through the wilderness and went around the land of Edom and the land of Moab and arrived on the east side of the land of Moab and camped on the other side of the Arnon. But they did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the boundary of Moab. Israel then sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, 'Please let us pass through your land to our country,' but Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory, so Sihon gathered all his people together and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel. And the LORD, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them. So Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, who inhabited that country. And they took possession of all the territory of the Amorites from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the wilderness to the Jordan. So then the LORD, the God of Israel, dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel; and are you to take possession of them? Will you not possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? And all that the LORD our God has dispossessed before us, we will possess. Now are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever contend against Israel, or did he ever go to war with them? While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, 300 years, why did you not deliver them within that time? I therefore have not sinned against you, and you do me wrong by making war on me. The LORD, the Judge, decide this day between the people of Israel and the people of Ammon." But the king of the Ammonites did not listen to the words of Jephthah that he sent to him.

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