(Today's post by Keith Senator)
I was on a construction site the other day. Each of the trades working on the project all reflect on my company, because I am the general contractor. Each of them carry my name and should reflect my company values. I constantly remind them of this, but it seems they never learn. I think, what is wrong here? Why can't these people just get it? Then something occurred to me, they must not have allegiance to me. Not really.
In Judges 10:6-11:28, we see how Israel is again, following other gods. Now in fairness, this is quite a few people. It isn't like you have a Sunday school class of 15 people. No this is a lot of folks. In the construction example on a much smaller scale, each of the companies that work for me have a leader within them. Each team reflects the leadership they are under. They are taught. The lack or misdirection of leadership can bring devastating consequences. Similarly, God allows Israel to feel the weight. Now they see what happens when you step out from the grace covering of the Lord's hand. They get their butts kicked in battle and were overtaken for a couple decades.
Jephthah has a patchy lineage, born of Gilead (good) and a prostitute (what). When Gilead's wife had other sons, they had rights where Gilead had none. He was not considered for a birthright and was ultimately driven away. Now they want him back. He is a mighty warrior. Jephthah asks them, if I do fight (lead), and the Lord gives me the victory, will I really be your head? Allegiance. Yes, that it what we are missing. Allegiance.
Israel promises before God to do as Jephthah says. So he takes charge. Trying to figure out what is going on, he sends out a message to the Ammorite king. And it seems there is a difference of opinion as to what really happened in their history.
Jephthah explains to the king that it is wrong to wage war against Israel. He was not interested in it. So, since you will not listen to reason, let God settle the dispute.
It is really wild. Culturally we look down on a situation where a person is born out of wedlock. I could see me casting judgement on this situation. Then when the child comes back after years and is asked to join back in, actually lead. Wow, you mean I can be included again? Are you sure you are going to follow me? Really? In essence, when Jephthah is restored, Israel is restored.
I can't help it. I just gotta do it. The same is true for each of us on some level.
When you were invited to join back into the family, to lead, what was/is your task (calling)?
Like the construction example, are we just following some vague notion of duty or are we providing leadership?