Book of Judges Chapter Eleven
(Part Three)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of 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 11:28-40

I. Ammonite Oppression and Jephthah’s (jef’-tha) Deliverance (continued). In this section of Judges the King of Ammon pay no attention to Jephthah’s efforts. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah.  Jephthah advanced against the enemy. He made a vow to give to God the first thing that came out of his house, if God would give him the victory.

God gave him the victory, but Jephthah’s daughter was the first thing out of his house, after the battle. After a two month adjustment period, the daughter was at least given to the Lord’s service, if not killed.

Applications –

- The Holy Spirit. Notice in vs. 29 that the Spirit came on Jephthah. As believers, we have the Spirit in us (see Jn. 14:17; Eph. 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit teaches, guides, convicts, and comforts us, when we allow Him to. The Spirit doesn’t make us do anything, but He encourages us to do.

When we obey, we are richly blessed. When we don’t obey, we suffer lost blessings and gain punishment. Let’s be so appreciative of having the Spirit in us that we obey Him.

- Advancing. Notice in vs. 29 that Jephthah advanced against the enemy. There are times when we don’t wait until we are attacked. We are to make the first move.

And as we have learned from others passages, there are times for us to wait. And there are even times when we run.

Let’s seek God’s wisdom and courage to obey His will. Think about the possibility that God is calling you to advance in the areas of attitude, health, finances, relational, and contribution stewardship.

- Commitments. Notice in vss. 30-31 that Jephthah made what we would consider a rash vow. First, we should be careful about making commitments. It is better to promise low and perform high than to promise high and perform low.

Second, we should be extra careful about serious commitments of vows, especially when they are not necessary. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but we will be expected to keep our vows.

Think about how this applies to commitments that we make about serving in the church, New Year resolutions, and promises to friends. Let’s work on making prayerful commitments, instead of rash ones.

- God giving the victory. Notice in vss. 32-33 that God gave Jephthah the victory. In like manner, God can give His people the victory today. Furthermore, as in Judges, our victory can mean the destruction of others.

Therefore, we should strive to make sure that we are on the right side of victory, by making sure that we are saved and striving to obey God’s will.

At the core of God’s will are the issues of being saved people who love God with all that we have and love others, as we love our selves. Let’s make sure we are on the right side of God’s victory.

- Excited about God’s agenda. Notice in vs. 34 that there was excitement about God’s work moving forward. There is often so little excitement about God’s work moving forward today. When people join the church, there is often little excitement.

In many cases, we don’t even measure a person’s growing to benchmarks and milestones in discipleship development, not to mention celebrating such. There is often very little excitement about the church making an impact in the community.

Let’s work on being more excited about God’s work moving forward. Attitudes are contagious. We should help people catch the attitude of being enthusiastic about God’s work being carried out.

- Keeping our word. Notice in vss. 35-36 that Jephthah is expected to keep his word. Of course we can criticize him for making a rash vow. We can speculate about did he have his daughter killed or simply devoted to serving the Lord. But we must agree that he was expected to keep his word.

There are too many people in our churches and network of relationships who have a terrible reputation regarding their keeping their word. This leads to a lack of trust and enjoyment of their company.

Let’s work on being people who keep our word. We can start with our church covenant. Our churches would be so much better, if we had more covenant keeping members.

- History. Notice in vss. 39-40 that the occasion of the text in Judges was remembered. In like manner, we should remember our history and try to learn from it. From history we can learn both what to do and what not to do.

We should try to build on the good things from history. And we should try to avoid making the same mistakes that have been made in history. Let’s work on remembering and learning from history.

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

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