Book of Judges Chapter Twelve
(Part One)

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

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Read Judges 12:1-7

I. Ammonite Oppression and Jephthah’s Deliverance (continued). After Jephthah won the battle, there was a group of men from Ephraim who questioned Jephthah about fighting without them.

The men planed on killing Jephthah because he fought the Ammonites without their assistance. There is a battle between Jephthah and Gileadites against the men of Ephraim. Jephthah and his people won. After six years of leading the people, Jephthah died and is buried.

Applications –

- Unreasonable people. Notice in vss. 1-2 that people can be so unreasonable. First, the people of Ephraim should have simply given their assistance, since the enemy being fought was a threat to them as well. They should have at least responded to the general call for help.

 In like manner, there are too many people in our churches who think they should be begged or at least given a special invitation. Second, we should make sure that we don’t join this crowd.

We should be willing to serve where needed without special invitation. Let’s be aware of unreasonable people and avoid joining their ranks.

- Try nice first. Notice in vs.3 that Jephthah tried reasoning. In like manner, we should try to reason with people. Romans 12:18 talks about trying to live peaceable with all people.

This calls for humility and self-control on our part. Let’s work on trying to reason with people. However, remember that the other person has to do their part also.

- Civil war. Notice in vs. 4 that the people ended up fighting one another. This is a civil war. All of the people in question are Hebrews or people of God. It is sad, but there are times when fighting is the best option.

For example, when you are being attacked in a way that threatens your life or your loved ones are being attacked in a way that threatens their lives, fighting may be your best option.

Let’s seek God’s wisdom to know when to fight and when not to fight. Prayerful study and wise council can be very helpful in discerning what to do with a given situation.

- God’s wrath. Notice in vss. 4-6 that God appears to give the victory to Jephthah. First, we rejoice in knowing that God can give us the victory. Second, we should make sure that we are on the right side of the equation.

As in the Judges chapter 11, you can be one of God’s people and still be on the wrong side of God’s wrath. We are called to make sure that we are saved and giving highest priority to loving God and others, as we love ourselves.

So many civil wars in the church come because everyone is trying to get their own way, instead of seeking and following God’s will for us to get along. Let’s work on being on the right side of God’s wrath.

- Death. Notice in vs. 7 that Jephthah died and was buried. In like manner, we should all expect death to come our way. The older we get, the closer it gets. Let’s make sure that we are ready for our date with death.

This calls for accepting Jesus as our savior by faith. It calls for estate planning issues like a will, life insurance, living wills, and the like. It may call for making sure you have given effort to some relational lose ends as well.

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

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