Thursday, October 25, 2007

Jephthah's tragic vow

Judges 11:29-40 - Jephthah's tragic vow. Sacrifices his only daughter.

Moral of the story - It is best to keep your word to God? Jephthah did right in the Lord's eye by keeping his promise to God even if under such difficult circumstances?

No! Jephthah was a paganized Israelite, plain and simple. He had bought into the worldview that surrounded the Israelites. They were worshipping other gods for so long, he was ingrained with the multiple gods and recognized them all. This is made clear in Judges 11:23-24. In fact the narrator of Judges purposely puts on display how screwed up Jephthah was theologically. He gets the gods mixed up. (Chemosh was not the god of the Amorites, it was the god of the Moabites).

If good ole Jephthah was so concerned with doing right in the eyes of our Lord, he had multiple places to turn. Remember, his only daughter's life was at stake! Why not turn to Leviticus 27:1-8. He could have redeemed her life by a payment devoted to God. Why did Jephthah not remember Deuteronomy 12:31, where child sacrifice was an abomination before God? Answer, he was a Paganized Israelite! Saving his own skin and leadership position by appeasing false gods.

How often do we think we are doing right in the eyes of God, when in fact we are nothing but paganized christians making a mockery of God's will? Making idols of the world's wisdom? Proclaiming Christ when it suits are needs, or denying and editing His word so that it fits our modern paganized worldviews?

Just as Jephthah negotiated his way into the position of a Judge (11:9), he thought he could negotiate with the god's, whether it be the one true God, or the pagan's gods. Obedience to God is not negotiable. Denying the authority of scripture will bring judgement. We are not to do what is right in our own eye. We are to immerse ourselves in the holy and perfect word of God. We are to be holy because God is holy. Obedience - Blessing, Disobedience - Judgement, anything else is a false god and an abomination before the Lord.

How blessed we are that God is faithful even when we are not.

6 comments:

nanc said...

EXCELLENT synop, mark.

*:]

Winston said...

My brother-in-law, David, and I read your comments concerning Jephthah and it answered several questions and brought TRUTH to our souls. Thanks for illuminating this very valid point Mark.
May God continue to bless your studies and efforts to bring Godly wisdom to all Christian Brothers.

Anonymous said...

I liked it where God commanded moses to go to war and kill theie women, children, and animals.
Your God is a cool warrior like Allah:)

Mark said...

anonymous,

I think you have Moses confused with other folks God actually did command to kill everything that breaths. The prostitute Rahab and all she had survived God's judgement (Joshua 6:25), maybe we can too, eh?

By the way, God is God, I do not make him God, he is!.

nanc said...

fact of the matter is, anon - had man been obedient to G-d back in the day, the world would not be in the horrid shape it's in today.

the lesson to learn is obedience from dayz gone by.

we've gotten exactly what we've wanted - control over our own destinies.

The Merry Widow said...

Mark-Excellent study, and a very cogent point, syncrenism is deadly!

tmw
anonymouse-You are a fool and you try to equate 1 time in very special circumstances a singular order from G*D, the fact that the canaanites were child sacrificers AND they, their children and their cattle were ALL full of venereal diseases MAY have been part of the reason...hmmmm?