Ostracized But Not Forgotten

(Today's post by Keith Senator)

Judges 10:6 – 11:28

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?

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  • Jeff Morton

    Alright, what a great and fitting take away for my day!
    When I came to Christ at 19, I felt led to preach. I could get nothing more than if this is true all I get from it is spread the word. I soon decided that I could not rodeo and go to bible college (it was Rhema…. In Oklahoma…. I’m a moron!) so I ran the other way. Two years ago I began to seek God’s will for my life once again my only response to his grace was to preach, but how do I drop everything, burn my plow and feed my family. Then I got connected with some other men and the possibility of spreading the gospel where I am came to light.
    Yesterday I got a phone call from a friend inviting my wife and I on a snapper fishing trip for free today and we were already headed to Florida so I said yes. We drove tired and late to get here, I asked God along the way, what do you need and how do I honor you in this then about 2 am a very Cornelius/Peter conversation began and it hit me I am supposed to share with every
    Person God puts in front of me.
    I believe that my purpose and place is to trust and follow the Holy Spirit wherever that leads. I’m in awe, as always!

  • Brad Bacon

    Good one Keith. As an adoptive parent, this passage of scripture hits me in a different way. Jephthah didn’t have the “right” mother – his lineage was in question because of this and he was ostracized. In reality – the only lineage that matters is that we are ALL children of God. Jephthah’s parentage was irrelevant to his ability; what made the difference was his acceptance of the mission God placed before him. My role as dad to all of my children – adopted or natural – is to instill the knowledge that being a child of God transcends any contrived human constraints, definitions, restrictions, assumptions. Through Christ we can do ALL THINGS.

    • keith senator

      Thank you Brad. In reality, him leaving the people most likely preserved him more so than being in the midst of them. As you mentioned they were really pushing hard on the lineage, but in the end, they were not paying attention to the real lineage. The only one that really matters. Being part of the family of God and putting him first in our lives, this is the real deal. Thank you for the valuable input. Thank you for stepping up and providing a Godly family for those who may otherwise be in a very challenging situation or have no family at all.

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