September 2012

In the previous post. I have shared the story of  Jephthah, we have covered lightly on the times of the judges, and the facts to take note of.  I have also given the summary of the story of Jephthah, his background, his war against the Ammonite, his rash vow and his war against Ephraim.

I have also shared the difficulties encountered whenever one read the stories of Jephthah, most of them centered among the following points.

1. Jephthah fulfill his vow by burning his daughter as a burnt offering to the Lord

2. God accepted Jephthah vow and granted him victory over the Ammonites.

3. The bible does not condemn Jephthah’s action, but list him as a man of faith in Hebrews

I know that whatever I say, will still be rejected by the skeptics. They will  continue insist that this is a contradiction where God accept a human burnt offerings. They will insist that God acknowledges Jephthah vow by giving him victory, and in his foreknowledge he knew that Jephthah’s daughter will be the first to meet him.

I am writing this to help others who would want to look into the matter deeper, from a different perspective.

Gods Stand On Human Sacrifice

It is the fact that God never allowed his children to perform human sacrifice.  The law of Moses is very direct about that

And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord” – Moses (Lev 18:21)

Moses reminded the second generation of Israelites in the book of Deuteronomy. Which is his last sermon to the Israelites

“When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.” – Moses (Deut 18:9-12)

While some said God wanted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, but we should all take note that God intervened and stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac (Gen 22:9-13)

That was a test of his faith and God did not allow Abraham to harm Isaac in anyway.

There are some over zealous Christians that claimed that God must have stopped Jephthah from sacrificing his daughter in the same way, but I personally think that it is unwise to make such assumption for the bible did not mention it.

While we cannot deny when Jephthah made a vow, he did say he will offer whatever that vows refers to being burnt as sacrifice for he said

“it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.”” – Jephthah (Judg 11:31)

Law Of Moses about Offering and Vows

According to the law of Moses,  there are many things that could be offered to the Lord.

1. Animals offered to the Lord are burnt as a burnt offering, there was a Altar in the main courts of the Temple / Tabernacle for that purpose (Ex 27:1-8, Ex 29:38-42)

2. God take vows seriously, and they have to do according to everything they vowed (Num 30:1-2, Deut 23:21-23)

2. When a person made a vow to dedicate an animal it will be offered as burnt offerings, he can bring the animal to the priest to make the sacrifice (Lev 22:18-21)

3. It is possible make a vow and dedicate persons to the Lord,we can see examples such as Samuel (1 Sam 1:11). According to Hannahs vow, no razor will come upon the head of the child, this is similar to the Nazarite vow (Num  6:1-21). It is highly possible that Jephthah offered his daughter in a similar way. Which is the reason why she bewailed her virginity and she could never marry , (Judg 11:38-39)

4. In fact, God does allow people who were consecrated by vows could be redeem (Lev 27:1-8) hence this is not permanent. Jephthah could have done that and redeem his daughter anytime.

5. In event if a oath or vow is made thoughtlessly, one could offer a trespass offering and make atonement for it. (Lev 5:4-6)

From here we could see that the issues with Jephthah’s oaths could easily be resolved in many ways, however, he did not do it. So his daughter was dedicated to the Lord.

Although the bible was silent about her service to the Lord. There was some Christian groups who claimed that Jephthah daughter served in the Tabernacle. Personally I find that it is something that can neither be proven nor disproven.

Personally I would just say that she was dedicated to the service of the Lord, and I will admit that I have no idea what type of service did she perform.

Was Jephthah victory a result of his vow of was it a will of God?

There are skeptics that claimed that Jephthah’s victor was a result of his oath as the spirit of God was upon him (Judg 11:29 ).. I think the explanation given by “answers in Genesis”  had given a detailed explanation about the fact that the spirit of God moved Jephthah to advance his armies toward the Ammonites.

Personally I agree with the fact that Jephthah’s vow was not the reason for the victory for the Israelites, his oath is rash, spoken in a similar manner like King Saul (1 Sam 14:24).  The reason reason for God saving the Israelites was their repentance (Judg 10:11-16) Furthermore “answers in genesis had given a detailed explanation  that a person being moved by the spirit of God is still capable of making decisions and acting on his own.

The fact that God raised Jephthah as a judge, proves that God had decided to save his people from the Ammonites, and his Jepthah’s vow had no effect in the outcome of that battle.

The Idea Of Jephthah A Godly Men

While many defended Jephthah saying he is a Godly man, they backed their views with the fact that Jephthah was able to tell the story how God helped the Israelites defeat Sihon the King Of the Amorite. (Judg 11:14-22)

However, I feel that the fact that Jephthah joined himself with worthless men (Judg 11:3) and people who walked in the truth of God will not go in with hypocrites, and will not enter the assembly of Evil doers, and will not sit with the wicked (Ps 26:3-5)

Some may continue defending himself saying, he was rejected by his people, hence he have no choice but to join with worthless man. But then, I feel that he could still choose his companions and he could choose to fight alongside others instead of worthless men.

I feel that it was because of that, which made him into a man who give in to his anger , thus the story of him killing the men from Ephraim.

In fact, before Jephthah, Gideon faced the same problem with the men from Ephraim, but he choose to answer softly (Judg 8:1-3), and he did not proceed to fight against them.

But nonetheless, God still choose to use Jephthah to save the people. Despite all his weakness.

Lessons From Jephthah  : Do not make a Rash Oath.

One of the biggest lesson that one could learn from Jephthah was the sad fact that although he was happy with his victory from the Ammonites, but his rash oath made his happiness short lived.

Jesus once said

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”  – Jesus (Matt 5:33-37)

Even Moses advice the people not to take vows unnecessarily, so that he will not sin against God (Deut 23:21-22)

When Jephthah made a mistake making the vow, he did not do anything to help his daughter. But I am sure that vow was one of the biggest regret in the life of Jephthah.

Therefore, in our zeal to serve the Lord, let us refrain from making rash promises to God.

The Other Lessons Of Jephthah

One of Jephthah’s most admirable points should be that bravery to lead an attack against the Ammonites, then the people of Israel were bullied for 18 years ( Judg 10:7-9)

To lead the armies of Israel against such a enemies requires intense faith in God. Jephthah proactively attacked the enemies instead of being in the defensive. It was his faith that allowed the people of Gilead to attack the armies of the alien, and that act, put him into the list of men of faith.

Although Jephthah is someone that had many weakness, but his faith in God turned him into someone that could win battles for the Lord. He was able to do the difficult task of saving the people of Gilead through the faith that he had in God.

Likewise, we are men of weakness, sometimes we say we are not good enough to be part of God’s work. God requires men to be willing to serve him, he will provide help to help us overcome our weakness and to serve him, just like what he did to Jephthah.

Dear Readers

I was writing a blog article when Live Writer Post it up by accident, Please ignore the previous article in your inbox as I am still working on the topic at the moment.  The article was taken down until the contents were rearranged. I have yet to think of a title for it and the title was my draft title. I would love suggestions for the title if there are any 🙂

As I am still working on its layout and headings the article will not be read so soon, But I would be posting the article up once i have finished since it leaped out from my draft box by accident.  🙂

Apologies for any inconvenience to the subscribers as i am sure you would have recieved a New Post Message

I decided to take a break off my typical writing schedule to dedicate this song to my colleagues and friends. We were having a nice time playing “Rock Band 3” during the company cohesion event.

This song was performed by a Swedish pop group known as Roxette. I was reading the Wikipedia entry for the song, it was the song that brought the group to the international market. It was released around 1989 I believe. 

this song was often featured in advertisements and games, and it was a playable track in the Xbox game “Rock Band 3”

I just like to dedicate this song to my colleagues who are playing that music and singing with us.

Title: The Look
Artiste : Roxette
Written By : Per Gessle

One, two, three, four
walking like a man
Hitting like a hammer
She’s a juvenile scam
Never was a quitter
Tasty like a raindrop
She’s got the look

Heavenly bound
Cause heaven’s got a number
When she’s spinning me around
Kissing is a color
Her loving is a wild dog
She’s got the look

She’s got the look (She’s got the look)
She’s got the look (She’s got the look)
What in the world can make a brown-eyed girl turn blue
When everything I’ll ever do I’ll do for you
And I go la la la la la
she’s got the look

Fire in the ice
Naked to the t-bone
Is a lover’s disguise
Banging on the head drum
Shaking like a mad bull
She’s got the look

Swaying to the band
Moving like a hammer
She’s a miracle man
Loving is the ocean
Kissing is the wet sand
She’s got the look

Repeat Chorus

Walking like a man
Hitting like a hammer
She’s a juvenile scam
Never was a quitter
Tasty like a raindrop
She’s got the look

She goes na na na na na
na na na na na na ,  na na na na
na na na na na na na na
Na na na na She’s got the look

Repeat Chorus

What in the world can make you so blue
When everything I’ll ever do I’ll do for you
And I go la la la la la