TOPIC: Weigh Your Promises (DCLM Daily Manna 6 March 2021)
TEXT: Judges 11:29-40 (KJV)
29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.
30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,
31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.
32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.
33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.
35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.
36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.
37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.
38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.
39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel,
40 That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.
KEY VERSE: “And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back” (Judges 11:35).
During a turbulent debate and a series of controversial statements by a president of the US, a lawyer and senior editor who worked with a journal in Washington was asked to give historical perspectives on the development. Without hesitating, he said: “Every president overpromises and underdelivers”. He had closely studied the presidents of his day and those before them, and arrived at the conclusion that these leaders were quick at making pledges but slow in implementing them.
Also See: OPEN HEAVEN 6 MARCH 2021 – BE CONTENT I
Contrast these leaders with another personality in Scripture who recognised that there must not be a disconnect between making a vow and honouring it. Jephthah had just been commissioned by Israel to lead a campaign against the Ammonites, who wanted to seize their territory. He promised God that on his return after defeating Ammon, he would appreciate Him with a sacrifice of whatever welcomed him home. He had a triumphant outing. But alas, it was his daughter, his only child, who received him. Jephthah did not renege; he honoured his vow to the Lord.
A key lesson in the story of Jephthah and his vow is that the believer must not make rash vows with respect to giving to God or in our relationships with fellow men. We must weigh our words and remember that God does not joke with them before we commit to promising Him. There are consequences for promises we make, either before God or man.
Centuries later when Jephthah showed up again, this time in the New Testament, he is counted among the heroes of faith. This shows that heavenly rewards await those who stand firm by their decision to follow the Lord even in the face of unexpected challenges.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God honours those who honour their word.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Leviticus 25-27
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.