I recently heard of a wedding where the groom pulled the pastor aside and made him an offer. He said “Look, I’ll give you $100 if you’ll change the wedding vows. When you get to me and the part where I’m to promise to love, honor and obey, I’d appreciate it if you’d just lea … More
Jephthah wanted victory over the Ammonites so badly that he made a foolish vow to God (vv. 29-31). If God would permit him to triumph over Ammon he would offer up as a sacrifice the first thing that walked through the door of his house to meet him after the battle. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah and the enemy could not withstand his power and the battle was won (vv. 32-33).
His only daughter was the first to greet him when he returned home in triumph (v.34). The terms of his vow were disaster but he had to keep them (v. 35). It would be hard to overestimate the fearful strength of a vow to the Lord by the Hebrews and especially one that made the vow.
It seems that Jephthah’s daughter had already suspected the content of her father’s rash vow even before he divulged it openly and she submitted herself immediately to what awaited her (vv. 36-40). No matter how foolish the vow may have been we must at least respect this man and his daughter who were loyal, at such a cost. This is the termination of the clan of Jephthah since this was his only child. Thus the moment of triumph also brought about a moment of tragedy.
Have I ever promised God that I would do something and then gone back on my vow? “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not keep it.” Are there any vows I have made I need to renew?
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Judges 8:1-12The Surprise Attack
Judges 8:13-23Gideon’s Sense of Justice
Judges 8:24-35The Concluding Days of Gideon
Judges 9:1-15The Renegade Who Lusted for Power
Judges 9:16-29The Troubled Reign of Abimelech
Judges 9:30-41The Destruction of Shechem
Judges 9:42-57Abimelech Wanted to Get Revenge
Judges 10:1-9Servitude Under the Philistines and Ammonites
Judges 10:10-18The Repentance of Israel
Judges 11:1-17Jephthah’s Call to Leadership
Judges 11:18-28Jephthah’s Military Strategy
Judges 11:29-40Jephthah’s Vow to the Lord
Judges 12:1-7War with Ephraim
Judges 12:8-15Three Big Zeros
Judges 13:1-7Israel’s Final Judge
Judges 13:8-14Sampson’s Parents Make a Vow
Judges 13:15-25Sampson was Born
Judges 14:1-7Samson Falls in Love
Judges 14:8-20The Marriage of Samson