January 23 – Jephthah – Judges 11:1 thru 12:7

Jephthah was described as a mighty man of valor, the same description given to Gideon by the Angel of the Lord.  Through no fault of his own, he was a social outcast.  Driven away from his adoptive family for being the son of a harlot, he moved to the land of Tob.  

When the Ammonites began to wage war against Gilead, the leaders of Gilead came to Jephthah for help.  Jephthah had every reason to hold a grudge for the treatment he had received.  However, Jephthah did take on this responsibility and was successful.  Jephthah judged in Israel for six years.

Read the story of the vow that Jephthah made (Judges 11:29-40).  What are some lessons that you learn from this passage?  Is there such a thing as a foolish vow to God?  Foolish or wise, how important is it to fulfill your vow to God?  Have you promised God something and failed to follow through?