The Jephthah Cycle - Day 1

Opening Prayer:

Dear Lord, open Your Word to me and let me hear You speak. Heal my pain and rejection so that I may serve You wholeheartedly. Amen.

 

Read: Judges 11:4-9 (NIV)


“Some time later, when the Ammonites were fighting against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob. “Come,” they said, “be our commander, so we can fight the Ammonites.” Jephthah said to them, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now, when you’re in trouble?” The elders of Gilead said to him, “Nevertheless, we are turning to you now; come with us to fight the Ammonites, and you will be head over all of us who live in Gilead.” Jephthah answered, “Suppose you take me back to fight the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me—will I really be your head?””
 

Reflect:

I have been rejected many times. Some small, some large. One of the most memorable is when my good friend - who I wanted to be my girlfriend and felt she wanted to be too - rejected my invitation to start dating. This was a painful and trying experience. It shook my confidence and I withdrew from pursuit of her and from dating in general for a while.

Jephthah has gone through rejection from his own people which you can read about in the first verses of Judges 11. His brothers kicked him out of town and cut him off from the family inheritance. Then when they were in trouble and needed help, they came back to Jephthah and asked him to help fight since he was a great warrior. This seems to be shocking to Jephthah who hesitates in joining the fight for fear of being rejected after.

Although I completely understand his reaction, we can see how pain and rejection get in the way of serving others and serving in God’s plan.

The good news for me and for Jephthah is that God helped both of us overcome our rejection to lead to success in the future. Spoiler alert! Jephthah fights and wins. And the girl that got away above is now my wife of over 11 years! Praise God on both accounts!

 

Apply: 
 

Where is rejection or pain holding you back from serving God or serving others? Find an area that you are hesitating to serve and trust God by committing to try it.

 

Closing Prayer:
 

Dear Lord, You are amazing in how You accomplish Your will even through us as hurt, and rejected humans. Show me how to overcome my hesitation to work toward serving others and You. Amen.

 

Terry Schneider