Thursday: 22nd August, 2019
Reference text : Judges 11:29-39
Judges 11:30,31 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”
The story of Herod making a grande promise to a young dancing girl out of his extreme excitement is remembered because of its consequence: the beheading of John the baptist. In comparison with today’s text, we can see nearly the exact opposite end of the excitement spectrum – a vow made out of desperation.
When people are desperate or overexcited, often the words they utter and actions they do are intended to get them out of whatever situation they are in or highlight their joy respectively. I am fairly sure into which category Jephthah falls because considering the concerns of any leader heading into a defining battle, he was more likely to be desperate than excited.
Regardless, in that state of mind, he made a vow to the Lord thus: ‘if you make me victorious in this battle, when I return home safely, I will offer whatever comes first out of my house as a burnt offering’. The more I thought about those words, the more evident it became that even as an army commander, Jephthah did not fully assess all the possibilities of what he may have to put on the table with his vow.
It seemed he had forgotten that his house not only contained livestock, but also his family.
‘Desperate times they say call for desperate measures’, but choices made in desperation often come at a very high cost
As Jephtah realised later, his daughter met him first upon his return and he had to fulfil his vow to the Lord. So my dear, even when you find yourself in a desperate situation and have to make choices quickly, still spend some time in thought because
you do not want desperation to be the bedrock of crucial decisions.