The Sacrifice of the Unworthy
Judges 10-11 Tells the story of how God can use those who we feel are unworthy to do His work.
The Israelites turned away from God, and began serving several false gods. The anger of the Lord was against them, and they were given into the hands of the Philistines and Ammonites. Under their rule, the children of Israel were crushed and oppressed for eighteen years.
As the Ammonites began to rise up against Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim, the children of Israel were at their breaking point. They cried out to the Lord, pleading for mercy. God reminded them how He delivered them from the hands of great nations, yet they turned to other false gods. God told them to go cry out to those false gods for deliverance.
The children of Israel begged for forgiveness, and put away all foreign gods. They began to serve the One True God, and God became impatient with Israel's misery.
The Ammonites were called to arms around Gilead, and the leaders of Gilead had no military leader. They declared that if anyone could lead the battle, he would be head over all Gilead.
The elders of Gilead met with Jephthah, begging him to lead the battle. Jephthah was an outcast, the son of a prostitute. Gilead himself was the father of Jephthah, but his legitimate sons drove him out of the land after condemning Jephthah for being a bastard child.
Jephthah declared that if the elders of Gilead brought him home again, he would fight the Ammonites. He said that if the Lord delivers them from the hand of the Ammonites, he would be their leader.
Jephthah consulted with the king of the Ammonites through messengers, attempting to find a peaceful resolution. The king would not listen. The Ammonites were hard-set on war, and would not rest until they had taken Gilead.
Then, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah. Jephthah made a covenant with the Lord, declaring that if God would give him the Ammonites, then whatever comes out of his door to greet him as he returned would be given to the Lord as a burnt offering. God gave the Ammonites to the hand of Jephthah and the people of Gilead.
When Jephthah returned, he kept his vow to God. One person would be the sacrifice for the sins of all of the children of Israel, just as Christ was the sacrifice for all of the sins of mankind.
This one person was not a great and mighty leader of the people of Gilead, and was an outcast. This sacrifice was the grand-daughter of a prostitute, Jephthah's daughter and only child. As she came to greet her father with dancing and music, Jephthah was struck with inward pain. He rent his clothes and became greatly sorrowed.
As Christ was alone in the wilderness, his daughter went into the wilderness to mourn for the tragedy that would become her destiny. For two months, she wept alone in the mountains.
As Christ walked up the hill at Calvary, bearing the sins of the world on his back, Jephthah's daughter walked towards her father. She came like a lamb to the slaughter as she walked towards her father. As Christ sacrificed Himself for our sins, Jephthath's daughter sacrificed herself for the sins of the children of Israel.
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Do we think that God calls only the righteous? Do we think that because of our family name or our holy lifestyle, we are "more chosen" by God? Do we look at others around us, thinking that God will refuse them for their sins? Do we look at the children, condemning them for the sins of their fathers and mothers? Do we think that only men have the calling of God in their lives? Would we have sacrificed ourselves for the sins of our nation?
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