Overcoming a Tough Start
SOCIETIES tend to have low expectations, sometimes downright hostility, for children born out of wedlock. Such was the case for Jephthah.
The product of his father’s dalliance with a prostitute, Jephthah was not only excluded but also expelled from his more “respectable” family. He led the life of a criminal, though he and his gang of raiders may have harassed the Ammonites more than the Israelites (Judges 11:1-3).
The irony of Jephthah’s life was that when Israel faced war with Ammon, the leaders of his hometown came looking for Jephthah to deliver them. They offered no apology; they merely appealed for help. Jephthah agreed to help them after negotiating his terms (Judges 11:9–11), and God gave him the victory (Judges 11:33).
Jephthah’s life illustrates that God can overcome any background and use any set of circumstances to accomplish His purposes.
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