To read the full text of this scripture go to Judges 11:29-40
A vow is of vital importance. That’s one main reason why vows are also used in a wedding ceremony. God’s word holds vows to a high standard.
Deuteronomy 23:21-23 says this:
“When you make a vow to the Lord your God, be prompt in fulfilling whatever you promised him. For the Lord your God demands that you promptly fulfill all your vows, or you will be guilty of sin. However, it is not a sin to refrain from making a vow. But once you have voluntarily made a vow, be careful to fulfill your promise to the Lord your God.
Jephthah was no different. He kept his vow. His one and only child, his daughter, accepted and was ok with the vow her father made. She made only one request and he granted her that request. He waited for her return home before he fulfilled the vow he made to God.
My friend, Andrea, and a bible reading group member, made an astute observation and insight on this scripture reading. She said, “I think God wanted us to understand what it was like to sacrifice one’s only child through this story. Jephthah’s daughter was his only child and a virgin. She was also willing to die. It’s kind of a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.”
God will work out His plan in our lives’ with or without us being on board. Jephthah’s daughter was on board. What a great child. Jesus was also on board. He was willing to give His life for the salvation of all people of all time. Not everyone will accept that free gift. But, that is also part of God’s plan. How has accepting Jesus’ free gift of salvation affected your life?
How does this apply to our lives today? How do we apply it to our lives today?
Here’s what I believe:
- We must take God seriously.
- He’s not just some fairytale that we tell stories from.
- He’s real; He’s alive and so is His word.
- Each time we read His word they must feel like they’re jumping off the pages at us and speaking directly to us. What we read one time and gain insight from may not be the same the next time. He may be telling us something else the next time. That’s how dynamic His word (The Holy Bible) is.
- We must be about the Father’s business.
- We must be so in tune with the Father that we don’t even realize or know anything else about everyone and everything that is going on around us. He’ll meet our needs. Trust Him!
- Here’s a quoted story as an example:
A lady went to her Pastor and said: “Pastor, I won’t be going to your church anymore.” The Pastor responded, “But why?” The lady said “Ah! I saw a woman gossiping about another member; a man that is a hypocrite; the worship team living wrong; people looking at their phone during service; among so many other things wrong in your church.”
The Pastor replied, “OK. But before you go, do me a favor: take a full glass of water and walk around the church three times without spilling a drop on the ground. Afterward, leave the church if you desire.” The lady thought: too easy! She walked three times around the church as the Pastor had asked. When she finished she told the Pastor she was ready to leave.
The Pastor said, “Before you leave I want to ask you one more question. When you were walking around the church, did you see anyone gossiping?” The lady replied “No.” “Did you see any hypocrites?” The lady said “No.” “Anyone looking at their phone?” “No.” “You know why?” “No.”
“You were focused on the glass, to make sure you didn’t stumble and spill any water. It’s the same with our life. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we don’t have time to see the mistakes of others. We will reach out a helping hand to them and concentrate on our own walk with the Lord.”
- What else can you come up with? I look forward to hearing from you.
Dear Jesus, thank You for this great insight. Thank You for the gift of salvation. Thank You for Your grace. I lift up all those who read this post and pray for their needs to be met; no matter what they are. You’re the Almighty, Who can make anything happen. I pray that those who read this devotion with fully surrender to You and fully seek You. Thank You in advance for hearing and answering this prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
When Jesus, Peter, James, and John came back to the other followers, they saw a great crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. But as soon as the crowd saw Jesus, the people were surprised and ran to welcome him. Jesus asked, “What are you arguing about?” A man answered, “Teacher, I brought my son to you. He has an evil spirit in him that stops him from talking. When the spirit attacks him, it throws him on the ground. Then my son foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes very stiff. I asked your followers to force the evil spirit out, but they couldn’t.” Jesus answered, “You people have no faith. How long must I stay with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” So the followers brought him to Jesus. As soon as the evil spirit saw Jesus, it made the boy lose control of himself, and he fell down and rolled on the ground, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been happening?” The father answered, “Since he was very young. The spirit often throws him into a fire or into water to kill him. If you can do anything for him, please have pity on us and help us.” Jesus said to the father, “You said, ‘If you can!’ All things are possible for the one who believes.” Immediately the father cried out, “I do believe! Help me to believe more!” When Jesus saw that a crowd was quickly gathering, he ordered the evil spirit, saying, “You spirit that makes people unable to hear or speak, I command you to come out of this boy and never enter him again!” The evil spirit screamed and caused the boy to fall on the ground again. Then the spirit came out. The boy looked as if he were dead, and many people said, “He is dead!” But Jesus took hold of the boy’s hand and helped him to stand up. When Jesus went into the house, his followers began asking him privately, “Why couldn’t we force that evil spirit out?” Jesus answered, “That kind of spirit can only be forced out by prayer.” Mark 9:14-29
The below content is borrowed from Pastor Jack Hayford’s devotional: “Celebrate”.
An Atmosphere of Faith
In this passage Jesus tells us that “believing” is the condition for answered prayer for a healing. The father of the demon-possessed boy answered in tears, “I believe,” then added, “Help my unbelief!” Since faith is a gift, we may pray for it as this father did. Note how quickly God’s grace answered!
Jesus rebuked the disciples because they could not cast out the mute spirit, calling them “faithless” (v. 19). In Matthew’s account of this incident, Jesus said that if one has faith as a mustard seed he can move a mountain (Matt. 17:20).
But there is another lesson to be learned: where an atmosphere of unbelief makes it difficult to believe, we should seek a different setting. Even Jesus’ ability to work miracles was reduced where unbelief prevailed (Matt. 13:58). As we go through the day, let us not diminish Jesus’ ability to work in us. Prayer and praise provide an atmosphere of faith in God and welcome His presence in our lives.