Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Block 98 Jephthah
Click HERE: Go to Stitchintree.com to download the draft pattern for this block.
“whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17
Jephthah was from the wrong side of the tracks. His father was a man named Gilead, and his mother was prostitute. Jephthah’s half-brothers disowned him and made certain that Jephthah would not receive any portion of their inheritance. With no family and no friends, Jephthah ran away to the land of Tob where no one knew of his illegitimate birth. In Tob, Jephthah distinguished himself as a mighty warrior and man of valor. He formed an elite military force who were known for their strength and expertise.
Around the same time the Ammonites were making war and consistently defeating the Israelites. The leaders had heard of Jephthah’s success, so they appealed to him to come and defeat the Ammonites. Jephthah was offended and angry. He wasn’t good enough for them before, but now that they wanted something from him, they were treating him differently. He probably wasn’t thinking clearly when he made a deal with them. Jephthah agreed to fight the Ammonites if the Israelites would name him their leader. With nothing to lose, the Israelites agreed and gave Jephthah authority to lead an army against the Ammonites.
Jephthah gave the king of Ammon fair warning, but the king would not back down. So Jephthah prayed to God that he would be victorious. Jephthah made a promise to God that if God allowed him to return home a victor, Jephthah would give as a sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house to greet him. Imagine his excitement as he came home the victor, marching down the street in his home town. Finally, he would be given the respect he deserved! Ashe neared his house, he expected his pets to rush out and greet him, but his daughter rushed out first instead, and the magnitude of his vow hit him like a brick wall! As a man of his word, Jephthah offered his daughter as a sacrifice to God, and to this day, her memory is honored annually by Israeli virgins.
Sometimes in an act of desperation, we are willing to promise anything to God if he will bend his will to our own. Are we really ready to follow through on what we promised? Or are we making a vow in haste, with no intention to fulfill the vow?
I chose the Depression block to represent Jephthah. Imagine how depressing it was when he was forced away from his homeland and family. Then imagine how depressing it must have been for him to realize that he had sealed his daughter’s fate with his vow to God.