Jephthah faith despite circumstances

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Heb 11:32-33 “32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,”
Within the chapter of Hebrews 11 we get to see so many different faith heroes! They all vary, God used all sorts of people!
When we get to Hebrews 11:32 we are introduced to a very odd and unlikely hero named Jephthah!
Now you have to understand something about Jephthah he came from a really rough back ground but God still used him!
Do you know that God can redeem(save and make good) anybody and anything!
No matter how bad the situation or the person was!
This man goes from Reject to Ruler!
Lets look at Jephthah’s story!
Judges 11- We’ll need some context into this mans story!
We know a lot about a few characters in Judges like Samson, Gideon, even Deborah…but very few know anything about ol’ Jephthah
Jephthah: Judges 10–12
Judges 10:6 “6 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord, and served not him.
Israel has forsaken God and are totally eaten up with idolatry
Judges 10:7 “7 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon.”
Thats how the book of Judges has worked: Israel forsakes God and have to be punished because they do
They are now in slavery because of their disobedience
Judges 10:10-14 “10 And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim. 11 And the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? 12 The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. 13 Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. 14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.”
For the first time in Judges God says “no” to their cry
Judges 10:15-16 “15 And the children of Israel said unto the Lord, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. 16 And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the Lord: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.”
Well, believe it or not, they get it. See how different what they said in vs. 15 is from what they said in vs. 10?
In vs. 10, they say, we want peace from you.
In vs. 15, they say, “We want peace with you
They truly repented and put away their gods
Judges 11:1-2 “1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. 2 And Gilead’s wife bare him sons; and his wife’s sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father’s house; for thou art the son of a strange woman.”
Jephthah shows up in chapter 11!
look how hard his upbringing is!
The son of a harlot
Thrust out of his own home
Insulted & hurt
even made fun of his mom
Lost his inheritance
Judges 11:4 “4 And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel.”
Ammonites declare war on Israel
Judges 11:5 “5 And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob:”
They get into a pinch and realize they’re in trouble
Even though Jephthah has been kicked out and disowned they realize he’s a tough guy and a mighty man!
Judges 11:7-8 “7 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress? 8 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”
Jephthah responds just like God did: “You don’t really want me. You just want to use me.”
vs. 8, they say, “No, no. We’re really sorry this time! If you come home, you can be in charge. We’ll quit making jokes about your mom. You can be the president, or whatever you want.”
He agrees
At first, he tries diplomacy with the Ammonites. He says to the king, “Why are you attacking us?” The King of the Ammonites says, “Because you took my land.” Jephthah responds to him with 3 points of reasoning, which are all pretty good.
1. It was actually the Amorites’ land that we took, not yours … your name was never on the title deed, so get off your high horse
2. And, #2, we were simply responding to their aggression against us when we passed through their land. They attacked us and we kicked their tail and so we kept their land, because God had given it to us anyway (Judges 11:14–19)
3. If this land is really a gift from your god Chemosh, then why don’t you use his power to come over here and get it? (Judges 11:24)
Then they announced the attack
Judges 11:30 “30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,”
He makes a vow to God
A really weird and bad one
Judges 11:32 “32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the Lord delivered them into his hands.”
Jephthah builds an army and leads them across to fight and God lets them win!
Jephthah was a mighty man of faith! It may not look like it but God says he is!
Hebrews 11:32 “32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:”

Jephthah’s background

He over came his background and did great things!
You could say he had a pretty bad child hood, despite that God still used this man!
Jephthah took a negative and turned it into a positive. He could have taken his rejection by his brothers as an indication that his life was over and that he would never amount to anything. Instead, he rose above the challenges of his life and made something of himself.
Sometimes it looks like life is against us, but if you believe in God’s rule ; you can know that ever the worst of circumstances are part of His plan to make us more like Him!
Psa. 37:23 “23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: And he delighteth in his way.”
- Whether you see it or not, whether you believe it or not, all the days of your life have been structured by God to make you into the person He wants you to be!
God delights in using the unusable. He specializes in taking those who seem to be the least of the least and making them vessels of honor for His glory,
1 Cor. 1:26-31 “26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 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. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
God can use anyone who lets him!

Jephthah’s Response

- After confirming that their offer is valid, Jephthah consents to go with them and to lead them to victory. His treatment of them is vastly different from their treatment of him! Even though they had abused him and treated him like dirt, Jephthah is not bitter. He was able to get over the things they did to him. He was able to see past their mean-spirited actions and he caught a glimpse of the hand of God at work in his life.
He served those who treated him so badly! What a picture of Jesus.
John 1:11 “11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”
Yet he still died for those who denied him!
1 Cor. 15:57 “57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- It pays to acknowledge God in everything we do. It pays to call on Him, look to Him and trust Him for the victories we seek in life. Jephthah became a victor, but only because he was first a servant of God who looked to the Lord for the victory!
How great and comforting is it to KNOW that our God can use us despite our circumstances and who we are! Our God uses the weak things to show him self strong!
You’re not too messed up for him to use you
He can!
1 Cor 1:27 “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;”
We serve him by faith not by our won power!
Matthew 9:29 “29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
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