Book of Judges Chapter Eleven
(Part One)

Introduction: A key idea in Judges is that God blesses obedience and punishes disobedience. Today, we hope to continue our discussion of the Ammonite (am’-on-ight) oppression and Jephthah’s (jef’-tah) deliverance.

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Read Judges 11:1-11

I. Ammonite Oppression and Jephthah’s (jef’-tha) Deliverance (continued). We see in Judges that Jephthah was the son of a prostitute. His siblings kicked him out of the area, so he would not gain an inheritance.

When the Ammonites came to the area, the elders went and recruited Jephthah to come back home and serve as the commander and head, because he was a great warrior. There was an exchange about Jephthah really being accepted.

Applications –

- God’s use of non-preachers. Notice in vs. 1 of this chapter of Judges that Jephthah was a mighty warrior whom God will use. It is important to remember that God uses more than preachers.

Therefore, we should be open to God using whatever He has planted in us – our abilities and personalities.

Think about the need for saved school teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, politicians, police officers, and more. And we should be sensitive to God using other people who may not be preachers. Let’s work on be sensitive to God’s use of people who are not preachers.

-  Sin’s impact on others. Notice in vs. 1 how Gilead’s sexual relationship with a prostitute led to the birth of Jephthah as well as the stigma attached to having a prostitute as a mother. In other words, the actions of Gilead impacted more people than himself.

In like manner, we should remember that what we do impacts others. Whenever we sin, we are not only getting into trouble with God, but we are likely putting others at risk. People who look up to you may become discouraged, when they discover your sins.

Those who love you may have to defend your sins. And the list could go on. Let’s be mindful of how our sins can impact others.

- The illegitimate brother. Notice in vs. 2 that the brothers got rid of the “illegitimate brother.” It seems that a primary motive in this chapter of Judges was the expected inheritance.

First, as believers, we should strive to obey God’s will regarding sex, which means that sex is for marriage only.

Second, when children are born out of marriage, we should strive to love them as best we can. The problem is really not the baby as much as how the baby got here.

Third, as Christian siblings, we should be very careful about how we treat others who call on the name of Jesus but don’t share our religious background.

For example, middle class people who have been in church all of their lives should be careful how they treat people who just joined the church, after 10 years of being in jail, being a prostitute, or being a drug dealer.

God can turn the worse into the best. And without God’s grace, the best can become the worse. Let’s be careful how we treat people who we think may not be on our level.

- When to fight and when to run. Notice in vs. 3 that Jephthah ran from his brothers. On one hand, there are times to take a stand and hope that you win the fight. On the other hand, there are times to run and pray that God will work things out.

We should seek the wisdom and courage to do what God is calling us to do. It is easy for people to tell you what you should and should not do, especially when they are in no danger. Let’s seek God’s wisdom and courage to know when to stay and fight and when to ran and pray.

- Be careful how you treat people. Notice in vss. 4-8 of this chapter of Judges that when the people got in trouble, they asked for help from Jephthah.

First, we should be so careful how we treat people. We never know who we are going to need in this life. The people we mistreat today can be the people that we need to help us on tomorrow.

Second, we should be careful about holding grudges. The people who mistreated us yesterday may be a source of blessing today. The real enemy is the devil, not the people whom he inhabits. Let’s work on treating people right, so it will not be so hard to help one another.

- God’s will, instead of just our emotions. Notice in vss. 9-11 that to some extent Jephthah was trying to make decisions based on the Lord’s will, not just his emotions. In like manner, we should strive to make decisions based on the Lord’s will, not just our emotions.

First, the best way to know God’s will is to prayerfully study and strive to obey God’s will with the support of other disciples.

Second, our emotions are so unreliable. We can be upset about what ends up being good for us (e.g., terminated from a job and then starting a profitable business) and be happy about what proves to be bad for us (e.g., marrying the wrong person).

Let’s work on making decisions based on God’s will, not simply our emotions.

- God can turn it around. Notice in vs. 11 that God turned things around for the son of a prostitute. In like manner, no matter how bad things look in your life, if you just keep on living, God can turn things around for you.

Even if He doesn’t turn things around the way we want Him to, we know that we have a blessed eternal life with the Lord. Let’s work on trusting God to work things out for the good of His people.

This means that we have to stay alive, instead of allowing bad situations to make us think that we might as well kill ourselves.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will.

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