Friday, February 24, 2012

Judges 11

Jephthah's beginnings may have not been ideal; but he knew the history, he knew the LORD.  I don't know why his mom was a prostitute - a Hebrew whore?  That doesn't follow from God's directions; so maybe she was of another heritage, part of the forsaking and serving other gods ... but somehow, Jeph got the instruction.  He knew God was the reason they were where they were, he understood the art of possessing the land, he knew the details, someone had made sure this man knew from where he came.  I am encouraged that what we plant in our children (even those who carry other people's names)  does not get taken away.  Even if they run off and draw worthless people them.  Keep me, o Heavenly Father, from planting harmful, hateful, deceptive thoughts; Lord, only that which brings You honor and glory.  Help me, o God, to plant much, to water and tend well the spiritual things in the lives of the children You entrust to me.  May I be faithful and stewardly-wise with the trust You have given me. 

He was a mighty warrior; but one with reason and mediation skills, honest even.  He seems remarkable to me.  But then he promises "whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”  the thing is whatevers don't come out of doors, whoevers do ... so who would possibly come out of his house to meet him?  I know that you do not make an oath and back down from it; especially one you make to the LORD.  So why on earth would he make such a statement?  Was it careless, boisterous, prideful?  Fake humility, deceived speech?  I can't imagine what would possess a person to commit to a burnt offering that which proceeds from his doors.  With all of his abilities and reason, his words mystify me ... especially in light of the fact that just prior to this God's Spirit came upon Jeph.  I can understand giving all to God, more so when His Spirit is strong upon you.  But to devote a person to a burnt offering. 

God, Jeph spoke without talking to You, without asking You what You wanted.  God help me to always ask what You desire before I go off pledging and promising.  Did he only know about You and not know You?  Please help me to know You more and more - for knowing You to be the purpose in my life and not any conquest or sacrifice.  Please help me come to You after I do speak out of turn, may I never forget nor stop responding to the cross.  May I bring others to Your very bloody sacrifice which has paid for all matter of sin, rebellion, pride.  Please help my words not cost others.

Lord, I am so impressed that Jeph's daughter would return and submit to her father's (apparent) folly.  What devotion to Your Name.  May I honor You in the same way.  Complete trust, obedience and acceptance of Your words.  I thank You that You have words for me.

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