#34 Woman of God: Jephthah’s daughter
Yesterday we wrote about abhorrent events that happened at a time in Israel’s history when there was no king and everyone did what they thought was right in their own eyes. We look at another incident that happened at this time: the vow of Jephthah.
Jephthah had a bad start in life. His mother was a prostitute and his half brothers threw him out of their home when they had grown up. He became such a valiant leader elsewhere that his brothers then asked him to come back, be their head and fight the Ammonites.
All well and good except Jephthah made a foolish vow that if God would deliver Ammon into his hands he would offer whatever came out of his home to greet him on his victorious return. What on earth was he thinking? Someone had to come out of that house. Someone that he knew! Did he expect his mother in law to come running out to greet him?
As it turned out, his only precious daughter joyfully ran out to meet him and Jephthah was devastated. She asked for 2 months to bewail her lot before he carried out his vow.
What would you have done if your father had made such a stupid vow and you knew that, no matter what, he was going to kill you? Jephthah’s daughter didn’t run away. She didn’t hide out for the rest of her days in some cave. No, she returned to be willingly murdered by her father.
Jephthah’s daughter had no say about her future but, nevertheless, she was a willing sacrifice – a sacrifice that God did not demand. Jesus, however, did have a say about His future and willingly chose to come in mortal flesh to be a sacrifice that God did demand of Him so that you and I could be made righteous once for all.
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ”
Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:5-10).
* Quotations from NKJV.