O. T. #532 "A Vow Made"
June 5, 2015
Judges 11-Part 2
Then it shall be, that whatsoever... Judges 11:31
LET IT GLOW
A man's word is his bond. Do we hear that in our day? A handshake on an agreement used to be as binding as a contract is now. So as a Christian, I should keep my word. When I say I will, then I do it. Right? Even if others do not. A vow made is a vow kept. An Israelite made a vow to the Lord. Shall we see what it was about?
As a review: After 300 years of Israel possessing (Gad and 1/2 tribe of Manasseh), the Ammonites claimed it belonged to them. (Moab and Ammon were sons of Lot, Abraham's nephew.) They entered the city of Gilead, west of the Jordan River to conquer. Gilead's sons after kicking out their half brother, Jephthah, from the city, begged him to return and lead their army to fight the Ammonites.
Jeph came back, agreed to lead them, but in doing so would become their leader, judge. All agreed.
So we pick up the story with Jephthah, convinced Israel had done no wrong, but the Ammonites were in the wrong, challenged their enemies to have the LORD the JUDGE (Yahweh Hashhophet, pronounced with a long o and e) settle this matter between Israel and the children of Ammon. Guess who disagreed-the Ammonites.
Jephthah sought the Lord in this matter.
When we feel we are following the Lord in a matter and face opposition, do we seek Him for direction as Jephthah did? Or do we go head strong doing things our way?
LET IT GROW
We do not read of an answer, specific instructions or different directions given to Jephthah from God.
Verse 29 begins with Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah...
The Lord graciously empowered Jephthah for war on behalf of his people does not mean that all of the warrior's decisions were of God's wisdom. The rash vow (v. 30,31) is an example.
However, we do read of a vow which Jeph made to the Lord in verse 31:
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. (my emphasis)
This was a custom among generals to promise the god of their worship something of great value as a reward for that god's giving them victory. (MacArthur)
We are going to leave it there. You can read over the weekend what happened if you wish to know ahead of time. What or who would be the sacrificed pledge?
Numbers 30:2 tells us, If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
Do we keep our promises to the Lord? It is better to not make one that break one.
LET IT GO
Keep my promises to the Lord.
Do what I say I will do.