|Human Sacrifice Unjust|
by Christina Farris
| Judges 11:19-40 KJV
19 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place.
20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.
21 And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.
22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan.
23 So now the LORD God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it?
24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess.
25 And now art thou any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them,
26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?
27 Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.
28 Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him.
29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.
30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,
31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.
32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.
33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.
35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.
36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.
37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.
38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.
39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel,
40 That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.
|What we say matters to a group of people in the since of keeping our word, Jephthah vow to God had not been one of sacrifice infront of so many his daughter would probably had lived. Jephthah had fought the Ammorites a group of people who believe in sacrificing their children to Chemosh. It was pagan sacrifice to idols. God never desired us to sacrifice our children to the idols. In fact God demonstrated his love by providing a ram for Isaac to protect him. Yet in this case God provided no sacrifice for Jephthah daughter. What Abraham did was private before the Lord. Of course it became known. Yet Jephthah vow was before his men and brethren. A vow to sacrifice the first one coming through his door to greet him would be sacrifice to the Lord. When he saw it was his daughter he rented or tore his clothing. A type of mourning. A feeling guilt washed over him because of his vow. A guilt knowing he would have to sacrifice his own family member his daughter. She told him to do it, because she believed in honoring the vow to God. Yet she requested time with her friends. She was pure and never been with a man. His sacrifice would be holy.
The cost of human life would be given for a victory of a battle against a people that believed in sacrifice of children. The irony of the death being he had thought he was above the people that worship Chemosh. He thought he was not with their sin. He thought he was more righteous because he worshipped the Lord God. Only found himself now weeping because of sin of a vow. Confronted with his sin, yet obligated to keep his vow to the Lord. No doubt he wonder why he opened his mouth. Did God cause this, no. This was a human decision. Yet the Spirit God had gained the victory by leading Japhetheh in battle. How can God's Spirit lead knowing the vow would come. Why would God allow such a mistake. God had won the battle not Japhetheh, but Japhetheh took credit. Why not step back and say God won the battle instead of sacrificing his daughter, because it was before men.
God provision is such that even in our mistakes there is a way out, but do we take His way out and give God all the victory. We ask for God's help and not give him the credit? One needs to think on this. Is God provision and victory in our life given to our own power and not God. What about the last job promotion or the last victory in a person battle. Who is glory for the victory in our life. Consider today that being human is normal to take credit, but making vows that should not be kept is just as disgraceful. Sacrificing our family to gain or another person to gain what we desire is not of God. God expects us to give it up.
Dear Heavenly Father help us to give offerings of honor to you and not one's that are not of you. Thank you for provision that might even humilitate ourselves before others, but is honor and glory to you. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion: Deutronomy 12:28-32 KJV
28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.
29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.