Let us carefully look into the story of a man in the bible that I will call a hero. The book of Judges 11:1-32 gives an account of a man who turned his tragedy into strength :
For those less familiar with Jephthah, in short, Israel had been unfaithful yet again and, thus, had fallen under the abusive dominion of the Philistines and Ammonites for 18 arduous years (Judges 10:6-9). During an Ammonite attack, the people of Israel decide to repent to regain God’s blessing. God seems to question how genuine the repentance is, but the people make significant reforms anyway. Battle lines are formed, and war appears about to erupt (Judges 10-18). It is in this setting that Jephthah appears in the story.
Judges 11 describes Jephthah the Gileadite as a prostitute’s illegitimate son and mighty warrior. Furthermore, Jephthah was disowned from any portion of the family inheritance by the “legitimate” sons of their common father. In the Jewish culture, there are two names for sons:
Ben- son born into the family and Bar which means son of inheritance.
Thus although Jephthah was born into the family, as far as the jewish law is concerned he was not a son of inheritance because in those days for you to be a son of inheritance, you need to be tutored by a trained teacher and after you are matured, a rite is performed whereby the father officially “adopts” the son which will now make the son a legal and legitimate heir to his father inheritance.
Jephthah fled from his brothers and became a gang leader, making his living by raiding, hence developing the warrior skills ( verses1 to 3). Jephthah clearly charges the elders of Gilead with driving him out (verse 7). Hence, Jephthah was disenfranchised from the entire tribal unit, not just from his blood family.
Can you picture for once the pain that he might be experiencing? He was not only driven from his blood family but from an entire tribal unit because of one very thing- HE WAS A SON OF A PROSTITUTE! This was not the fault of Jephthah, actually he did not tell his father to go and sleep with a prostitute however, as we learned from the story above, he paid dearly for that.
However, Jephthah’s story is a story of triumph in the sense that a prostitute’s son leading a gang in criminal behavior would not seem to be a likely candidate for God to use in His service. Certainly, some better candidates must have been available yet he was God’s handpick irrespective of his background because God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
Actually, He is the God that takes the foolish things of this world to confound the wise and takes the weak things to confound the mighty things (1 Corinthians 1:27). Thus our lives are important to God and it really does not matter what we have done in the past or background but God can still take us and make something great with our lives if only we will surrender to Him completely.
Jephthah refused to be victimized by his background but rather he decided to be victor. He advanced by becoming a skilled warrior, A Mighty Man of Valor! And God used his skills and training to fulfill His perfect plan for the Israelites. Thus the same person who was rejected by all was now the most wanted by all; he had what it takes to deliver them from their enemies.
Likewise, we need to have the attitude of a conqueror. Just because we had a rough childhood does not mean our future has no meaning. Jephthah decided to change his future, it was not his fault to be born of a prostitute but he was responsible of what he made of himself as far as his future was concerned.
He trained himself to be a better person thus when he was unfairly treated by his family and society, he was not deterred. God honored him and rewarded him greatly consequently.
You may be beaten down by the storms of life nevertheless you are needed by your Creator, and He loves you unconditionally. The gnarled old oak tree was hit by rain and other natural disasters yet it was still needful. The tree that initially appeared to have no purpose at all and deemed useless except for firewood was the same tree that allowed the old man and his grandson to rest against its trunk amidst the coolness of its shade. Similarly, the man who was rejected by his family and entire tribal unit because he was born of a prostitute was the same vessel God used to deliver His people from oppression.
We need to rise up above any self -limiting setbacks and hindrances and know that God has us in mind and we are not accidents; our presence is needed in our families, job, school, marriage and the world at large. We may be stones the builders rejected yesterday or today but we can still be the cornerstone (Psalm 118:22) tomorrow and until we recognize our value we will not contribute to the greater good of humanity.
Hence let us yield ourselves completely to God and allow Him to have total control of our lives then we can also be used by Him for great exploits and fulfill His purpose for our lives.
Why don’t you consider today giving your whole life to your Father? If you do not know Him, and would love to start this beautiful journey with Him, first of all recognize that you are a sinner and have fallen short of His glory and receive His grace by accepting His Son Jesus Christ, who came to die on the cross to reconcile you to your Father as your savior and Lord in your life.
John 3:16 says
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life (Amplified Bible).
God loves you very much and wants to help you.
Simply say this prayer:
I thank you for your love and my life.
I admit that I am a sinner and have fallen short of your glory but I am grateful for allowing Jesus to die for me. Please Lord Jesus forgive me of all my sins and come be Lord of my life. Wash my sins and cleanse me with your precious blood and write my name in the Lamb’s book of Life. Thank you for accepting me
Now believe that you are a child of God.
Just surrender your will and everything to Him and He will lead you to the path of life.
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