Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bible Lesson Today

Today we read about Jephthah. (see Judges 10-11)

It is said, "he was a valiant warrior, but the son of a harlot." And his being a son of a harlot seemed to overshadow his military abilities. That passage struck me because in the preceding chapter, it seems that God's plan was to use someone to deliver Israel once again from their idolatry (and the way it is told in chapter 11, it appears that God planned on using Jephthah). I love the wording of God's grace there, "and He could bear the misery of Israel no longer."

But this stigma of being a harlot's son drove Jephthah to run with the wrong crowd (worthless fellows gathered themselves about Jephthah). However, someone recognized his military strength and asked him to be the leader and save them from the enemies.

I love how Jephthah made fun of his ennemies' gods. He really was brave.


From a piestic reading of the text, God sees us one way and has a course, but the opinions of others can put us on a path other than what God intended. Are we encouraging people's move towards God or are we encouraging people's move away from God? May we recognize the valiant among us. May we be valiant no matter how people perceive us!

Now with the rest of the story of Jephthah, someone else is going to have to help me. Why did he make such a vow? It did not seem like it was required. And what about how the vow was worded, "whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me" Bizarre. Very Bizarre.

11 comments:

Erudite Redneck said...

He was showing off, and it came back and bit him in the butt.

That, and-or, as an outlier in the faith in the first place, he had a human sacrifice streak owing to his concept of God as a tribal deity. He was not alone at the time, either in his concept of God or the human sacrifice thing.

So, what's the lesson? That we have come a long way in our concept of God and what He wants from us. A long way. And there is still a long ways to go.

drlobojo said...

Ah shucks, it was just a girl. They have no real value and can be replaced anytime. I mean look at all the other stories in the O.T.about the value of girls.
I especailly like the one where the pios Lot is willing to shove his daughters and wife out the door to a hungry mob of men in order to protect God's angles who were visiting. (and you wonder why they slept with him later).
In context. In context. Stories are not talismans, to be looked into to find magic meaning. Want to know why this "Judge" did what he did: ask a Rabi.

pecheur said...

ER and Dr. Lobo,

I guess both of you are going to make me come into the Enlightment era with biblical exposition.
=)

Erudite Redneck said...

Just wait until I got to seminary. ... Can you imagine? I'm thinkin' about it. A nice liberal one. :-)

Kc said...

Pech it seems to me the lesson in this is to trust in God’s merciful judgment and not our own righteousness. Had Japhthah done as he proposed and accepted God’s judgment between the Gileadites and the sons of Ammon he would not have paid such an awful price. He found hope and security in his own offering instead of God’s grace.

(Hope Lady R is still doing well!)

pecheur said...

Kc,
I concur

Alan Davey said...

People do really stupid things. Even religious people. Especially religious people?

And sometimes they do really bad things and somehow convince themselves they are doing it for God.

But God's Son does nothing stupid or bad. He's always wise and good.

drlobojo said...

"But God's Son does nothing stupid or bad. He's always wise and good."

Wonder what he was like as four year old, or at sixteen? As well as being "The Son of God", was he not the "Son Man"? He never did one itsy bitsy little sin? Hum.
I mean, surely he must have felt bad about being called the "son of Mary". In those times that's the same as being called Mary's little bastard. I mean the kids in Nazareth would know that Joseph wasn't his dad, and as it is latter shown they did not know that he was the Son of God. Oh, well.

Anonymous said...

Ah but not 'just a girl', even if the comment was made tongue in cheek. That whole 'bewailing virginity' thing is because she, as an only child, was J's only chance of having his family established. No sex = no child = great shame. Killing her equates to killing off his own family line. And God wasn't Molech - He did not require that kind of thing, but Jephthah presumably didn't know that, having been an outsider.
I have never really understood why J got a mention in Heb 11...
Hope that helps.

pecheur said...

Dr.Lobojo,

Quick response. He never sinned even at 4. Is feeling bad a sin? If so he really felt bad when the weight of sin was placed on him at the cross.

Thanks for the comment. keep on bloggin'

pecheur said...

Anon,

Just for the record, I DID NOT say anything about "women" in this passage or any passage from the OT. That was Dr. Lobojo. You can go o his site and complain to him.

Good comment, could you at least give us a pseudo? Thanks