Being rejected is a painful experience. When you are rejected by strangers I suppose it is a little easier to live with. Even rejection at the hands of friends, neighbors or coworkers is a pain we can overcome. But when your own family does not want you it can really leave a deep wound that does not heal. Such was the case of Jephthah who was driven out of his home in Gilead. He was the son of a prostitute. His half brothers wanted nothing to do with him, as if it was his fault. They told him “You shall not have an inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.” (Judges 11:2) They cast him out of his home and he went to live with men of questionable character, the bible called them “worthless fellows” (Judges 11:3). No doubt being rejected led to these unfortunate circumstances. But God apparently likes rejects, even the ones birthed by a prostitute, out of wedlock, due to adultery.
Jephthah had one thing going for him; he was recognized as a great warrior. When the Ammonites made war with Israel, they went looking for the reject. Jephthah was wise enough to strike a deal. Jephthah told the elders of his tribe, “If you bring me home again to fight against the Ammonites, and the LORD gives them over to me, I will be your head.” (Judges 11:9) Out of desperation they agreed. Then Jephthah humbly asked God for his assistance, thus recognizing that he could not obtain victory on his own. (Judges 11:30-31) Jephthah conquered 20 cities. God gave Jephthah a complete and total victory. Under Jephthah’s rule of Israel they would not have to fear the Ammonites again. He ruled until his death and was buried in Gilead as a hero, where he was originally rejected and driven out.
God does not seek the approval of men. He does not admire the most popular, the most beautiful or the strongest. He admires those that humbly seek Him and obey Him; those that are not too proud to accept that sometimes life is too hard, the problems too great and the task too important to overcome alone. These men and women find strength in God for “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”(Romans 8:37)
A few more verses to consider.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise him.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
- It Takes Sacrifice (Judges 11) (theheartman.wordpress.com)
- Judges 11 (onethingonechapter.wordpress.com)
- Judges 11-12 (zachscripturestudy.com)
- A Principle of Promotion (pastorkeithhodges.wordpress.com)
- Judges 11 (sisterspray4me.com)
- Does God Sanction a Virgin Sacrifce in the Old Testament?…or Does Jephthah Win the Worst Dad of the Year Award? (catholicreason.wordpress.com)
- To break an oath or take a life? (faithfuldailyread.wordpress.com)
- On Judges 9-12 (reflectingchristian.wordpress.com)
- Judges 11 (leadmeintheeverlastingway.com)