Day 91 of 365 is 25%!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Welcome to Day 91 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Judges 11 What a horrible story about Jephthah and his daughter… In short, he vowed that if the Lord gave him victory over the Ammonites, whatever came out of the door of his house, he would sacrifice to the Lord. It was his only child… his young daughter.
v 38 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the LORD. Do to me just as you promised, now that the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. 37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.” 38 “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. 39 After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed.”
Judges 12:6 “Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.”
Psalm 50 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, 15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
2 Corinthians 1, Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth… He opens with a narrative of his troubles, and reminds them of God’s goodness and faithfulness in all his troubles.
I can’t imagine sacrificing my own daughter… And why would God allow this to happen, even to fulfill a vow?? The Bible seems to be silent about this being either good or bad. It’s clear that Jephthah felt he had to fulfill his vow, and his daughter agreed, by her own words… in exchange for her father’s victory over the Ammonites.
Note: Some commentaries try to make a case that she wasn’t really sacrificed… but it’s pretty clear that his vow was to offer whatever came out the door as a burnt offering… and at the end of the chapter, it states “it became a custom in Israel, 40 that the daughters of Israel went yearly to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year.”
There would be no need to commemorate her unless she was sacrificed… if the vow were merely her remaining a virgin for her entire life… That scenario just doesn’t make sense in the context.
Having said that, I would have to say, given all the other scripture condemning this practice, God would not accept this as an offering. It would be detestable to Him, regardless of it being in fulfillment of a vow.
See Deuteronomy 18:9-10, “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire…”
Compare it to Abraham offering Isaac and the Angel stopping him…
Again, all the details are silent surrounding the actual sacrificing of his daughter and how God viewed it.
Ok, moving on… sigh…
Additionally, I am stunned by Israel’s infighting amongst themselves… 42,000 killed?! Seriously? The whole “a house divided can not stand” comes to mind.
And I find myself losing all track of time… “Tola led Israel 23 years,” “Jair 22 years,” “Jephthah 6 years,” etc, etc… all the warring. I wonder why in some cases, there are few details, while at other times there is great detail. This period of judges lasts “about” 450 years until the time of Saul. (There were 14 judges from the time of Joshua’s death to the pending reign of Saul.)
Acts 16, “The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country; 18 for about forty years he endured their conduct in the wilderness; 19 and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.”
I honestly don’t know today… I am so stunned by these passages. I could focus on other passages from the Psalm or 2 Corinthians… but I am simply left scratching and shaking my head over the Judges chapters. I can not believe how far Israel has turned from the LORD… No mention of the Tabernacle whatsoever. No worship. Only warring…
What does it mean to me? When I do my application, I simply ponder that question…
What comes to mind is this, 1 Corinthians 10:12, “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.”
It’s only by your grace that any of us stands… Amen.