Jephthah, a judge was born. His mother was a prostitute. His half-brothers drove him away. He could not have a home among his own people. Though he was abandoned by his people, he diligently practiced learning and martial arts and educated himself. His name was well known to the people. He trained himself, painstakingly. Then one day the Ammonites invaded Israel, to the extent that the Israelites didn't know when they were utterly defeated.
Then the elders of Israel went to Jephthah and asked him. "Come," they said, "be our commander, so we can fight the Ammonites." (Judges 11:6) Then Jephthah gave a bold condition. “Jephthah answered, "Suppose you take me back to fight the Ammonites and the LORD gives them to me--will I really be your head?" (Judges 11:9) The elders of Israel, who were desperate to win the war, said they would. (Judges 11:10)
And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD : "If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering." (Judges 11:30-31) He went out into the battlefield and defeated the enemy and saved Israel from the threat of the Ammonites.
Jephthah returned home with joy from the battle. At that time, his only child who had heard the news of her father's victory came out, dancing to the sound of tambourines! The joy of victory was for a while, and then Jephthah was greatly despairing. Because he had to give his daughter who had come out of the door of his house to meet him to God as a burnt offering. In the end, Jephthah kept his vow to the God.
How about you? Do you have faith to sacrifice your only child? Like Abraham who gave his only son to the Lord, like Jephthah who sacrificed his only child, can you trust God and devote everything to Him? I hope you will be filled with holy faith through prayer until you reach the faith which the Lord wants.
Pastor Seok-Jeon Yoon
Extracted from the church newspaper #536 (July 15, 2017)