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For the last few months on Sunday mornings we’ve been studying on the topic of faith using Heb.
11 and the patriarchs in the Old Testament listed there as our examples.
Just as a side note - Justification in the eyes of God has always been by faith.
They weren’t justified by works in the OT and by Grace in the New.
It’s always been by faith - trusting in the promise of the Christ TO COME, OR trusting in the Christ THAT CAME.
This is the basis for this chapter is to explain that so there is no question.
In our series, we began by looking in depth:
God’s Definition of Faith: Heb.
11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
The Importance of Faith in the Eyes of God: Heb.
11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
And so as we consider Faith in God specifically, this chapter deals with the Faith of our Spiritual forefathers, AND WHAT IT MOVED THEM TO DO.
Messages in this Series:
v4 ‘By Faith… Abel Sacrificed’
v5 ‘By Faith… Enoch Walked with God’
v7 ‘By Faith… Noah Feared God’
v8-10;17-19 ‘By Faith… Abraham Obeyed, Became an Outcast & Offered’
v11-12; 20-22 ‘By Faith… Come Blessings & Bones’
v24-29 ‘By Faith… Moses Walked’
v30-32 ‘By Faith… History is Laid pt.
Faith Secures Victory (v30) - The COI @ Jericho
Faith Separates (v31) - Rahab
Faith Seizes Opportunities (v32a) - Gideon & Barak
Faith is Strong (v32b) - Samson
Today we are continuing our message titled ‘By Faith… History is Laid’.
We left off in v32, which is where we will pick it up today.
So we spoke the COI, Rahab, Gedeon, Barak & Samson - now we’re going to look at the story of Jephthah for pt. 5 and that is: Faith Sets Things in Order
V. Faith Sets Things in Order (v32c; Jg. 11-12)
How many by show of hands are familiar with the story of Jephthah?
The Setting
In Judges 11-12, we have the story of Jephthah.
Jephthah was a Judge who delivered Israel.
To Summarize his story:
The Bible tells us that a couple facts in Jg 11:1 “Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.”
He was a mighty man of valour
He was Gilead’s son
BUT - he was the son of an harlot
(v2) His daddy had other sons from Gilead’s wife - and because Jephthah was the son of an harlot, they essentially disinherited him - so Jephthah goes & dwells in the land of Tob.
It comes to pass that the Ammonites wage war against Israel - and Gilead’s brothers now see that they need Jephthah, so they send for him.
Jephthah says (in essence) if I come home & whip them, will I be your head?
(v9), then they agree.
So Jephthah begins ‘negotiating’ with the Ammonites and they come to no peaceful solution, so the Bible tells us: Jg. 11:29 “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.”
Jephthah is going to fight, but then the Bible tells us: Jg. 11:30-31 “And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”
So this is what’s going on with the Setting.
Next let’s look at the Sacrifice
The Sacrifice
So, Jephthah goes over and whips up on them, then he comes home.
Who do you think greets him when he comes home?
Jg. 11:34 “And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.”
She greets him with joy & song - her daddy has went and whipped a people and came home triumphant, and she’s overjoyed!
But Jephthah is not when he sees her - because he remembers his vow.
Jg. 11:35 “And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter!
thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.”
If you read on - Jephthah did as he’d vowed.
He did sacrifice his daughter unto the LORD.
But what I want to focus on next is the Submission itself.
The Submission
Without getting into all the specifics of this story - Yes it was a foolish vow, but it was a vow unto God nonetheless.
He was committed unto God - and took that commitment seriously.
Do you know why?
Because of his faith in his God.
His God wasn’t some distant fairy tale that because He was out of sight, He could be treated as ‘out of mind’.
He made a promise unto God - and that promise unto God was MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE LIFE OF HIS CHILD!
With that let me say - Faith Sets Things in Order.
Let me say this: We all have a (virtual) totem pole.
(Not in the Spiritual sense, but in the logistical sense).
And in too many Christian homes, the top of the totem pole resides their children.
Their schedule revolves around their children, their activities revolve around their children… but know this: God is greater than your children - and God should be higher on the totem pole than your children.
Your lives should not be organized in such a way that your children are your priority - it should be that your GOD is your priority - and the only way to set that in order is to BY FAITH see God differently.
This may seem strange to you - and although the circumstances were a little different, all Jephthah did to completion is what Abraham was willing to do with Isaac.
Jephthah’s faith in God let him to put his word unto God as priority over even the most precious thing to him in this world.
That’s faith.
So we see how that Faith Sets Things in Order.
Next looking at David (What do you think David’s would be)?
Faith Slays Giants
Faith Slays Giants (v32d; I Sam.
Of course, the first thing that came to mind concerning David and Faith was the story of David & Goliath, so we’ll look at that for just a moment:
David’s Vision
(Background of the story) So David goes out to take dinner to his 3 older brothers who are at an impasse against the armies of the Philistines.
David sees Goliath mocking Israel and he’s like ‘Is there not a cause??? Someone go down there and give him what-for!’
Finally, David said ‘King, let not thy heart fail thee, I’ll go’ - when Saul’s like ‘you just a baby’, David tells him the story of him killing a bear & lion, then says: I Sam.
17:36-37 “Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.
And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.”
Then David goes down there to Goliath & as he’s running to Goliath he says: I Sam.
17:44-46 “And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”
Question: What was David trusting in?
David trusted in the LORD!
That’s faith!
He simply believed that God was going to use him to take down this giant.
Let me fill you in on something.
David believed that the LORD could have and WOULD have used anyone to take down this giant - that’s why he went trying to get someone to stand up for the LORD.
Might I say: God can use anyone to take down a giant… all He needs is for someone to STEP UP and put their faith in HIM.
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