As we continue our journey through the "Judges" of Israel we come to Jephthah. Jephthah was the son of Gilead by a harlot/prostitute. He judged Israel 6 years. As Jephthah was growing up his half-brothers chased him away, denying him any inheritance. Jephthah led the children of Israel against the Ammonites. Jephthah his perhaps best known for the vow he made to Yahweh. When he vowed that if Yahweh would deliver the Ammonites into his hands whatever comes out of the door of his house to meet me when I return in triumph fromm the Ammonites I will sacrifice it as a burn offering. Unfortunately for Jephthah his daughter was the first to come out of the door of his house to greet him after Yahweh kept his end of the deal.
Jephthah's story teaches us an important lesson. We must honor the vows we make to the Lord no matter how painful our sacrifices may be. I know many have debated since child sacrifice was a pagan ritual would Yahweh really be pleased with such a sacrifice. I am not here to debate that. However this story does serve as warning about commitments we make to the Lord. Its better not to make a commitment at all rather than make a commitment you are not willing to fulfill.
Jephthah noble vow led to an unimaginable sacrifice but unlike many of us Jephthah made the sacrifice thus fulfilling his commitment to Yahweh. No matter where you fall on Jephthah decision to go ahead and sacrifice his daughter as a burnt offering the overall implication is clear commitment to the Lord requires sacrifice!! Are you really willing to give your life to Christ or does it just sound good? Think about the implications of such a decision you may not have to sacrifice your child/children but you will have to sacrifice something!
Jephthah gives us an example and encouragement that there is no sacrifice that worth more than keeping your vows to God! Let us go and do likewise.
Scripture Reference: Judges 11&12