Sunday’s message was from Judges 11:1-11. As this passage opens Jephthah is praised as a mighty warrior. What a compliment. However one doesn’t become a mighty warrior without enduring some battles, right?
What did Jephthah have to overcome? The second part of verse one is revealing. Jephthah’s father was Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute. Jephthah was the product of a cheap, one-night stand. Apparently Gilead owned his responsibility toward this son and had taken him in to raise him.
How did his father’s wife, Gilead’s wife, deal with raising this son that wasn’t hers? How might he have been treated differently from the rest of the children who were hers? As a child how do you process not belonging in your own family? Verse 2 suggests that the biological children of Gilead tolerated Jephthah until they grew up. But once they grew up (VS 2) they wanted him gone. After all, there was an inheritance at stake.
We learn from clues in the text that Jephthah loved God. When given the opportunity to lead his hometown in a war against the Ammonites, Jephthah depended on the LORD to give him the victory and desired for the LORD to gain the glory. That is the attitude of an overcomer.
When given the opportunity to make life miserable on the brothers who had made life miserable on him, Jephthah chose forgiveness and peace. Choosing the attitude and way of an overcomer is so important because you never know what is coming down the road that will need you to be fully free and fully present in order to tackle it.
I John 5 tells us in order to overcome we must love God and His commands, even the difficult commands like forgiving those who wrong us. We also read there in verse 5 we must believe in Christ and all He has done for us.
Something else as it relates to your faith I believe is key for you to embrace. I believe Jephthah embraced it because without it he would have lived a defeated life. It simply is this: You must believe you were born to win. You must believe God has something better for you than your circumstances want you to believe. You must believe God has a future for you that is better than your past. You must believe that no matter who rejects you or opposes you that God accepts you, and He is for you.
Romans 8:37-39 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul was convinced he was born to win! Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Nothing can separate us from His presence. Nothing can overtake us if we will love God, obey His commands, and have faith to follow Jesus, the One who overcame it all!