Jephthah ruled at the time of the Judges. The Ammonites, whose power had been broken by one of the earlier Judges, had again become strong, plundering Israel. The Lord gave Jephthah a great victory over the Ammonites to deliver Israel but at a great cost.
Jephthah (jĕf´thə), in the Book of Judges, was a Hebrew raider, the son of Gilead and a judge of Israel. He vowed if victorious over the Ammonites to sacrifice the first of his household to meet him on his return. His daughter was the price of this vow. Jephthah, a prostitute’s son, disowned from any portion of the family inheritance by the “legitimate” sons of the common father, leading a game in criminal behavior would not seem to be a likely candidate for God’s service, yet this is how the Lord sometimes makes His ways known.
This is the amazing thing about our Savior. He chooses to be found in those places the world would least expect. He chooses to reveal Himself in those places the world considers unimportant. He chooses to exert His power in what an unbelieving world considers weak and of little consequence.
Does the death of a condemned man seem compelling enough to offer atonement? Could His life and sacrifice really save you? The surroundings and the circumstances of Jesus’ death give you life. They are the means by which we find peace with God and absolution for our sin.
Faithful God, whose mercies are new to us every morning, we humbly pray that You would look upon us in mercy and renew us by Your Holy Spirit. Keep safe our going out and our coming in, and let Your blessing remain with us throughout this day. Preserve us in Your righteousness, and grant us a portion in that eternal life which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld Woodcut used with permission © WELS
Halley’s Bible Handbook An Abbreviated Bible Commentary Twenty-Third Edition, © 1962 Zondervan Grand Rapids
Collect for the Morning, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis