Battleground Earth 14: Vows and Inheritances - David Mitts
Last chapter we shared about the issue of legitimacy, rejection, and the forging of a leader through the fires of rejection. Jephthah was born outside of the wedding covenant to Gilead and an unnamed harlot, an ishah zona”. We saw how rejection was an essential part of destiny for Jephthah and how leaders are often built out of the fires of affliction.
"So Jephthah crossed over to the sons of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD gave them into his hand. He struck them with a very great slaughter from Aroer to the entrance of Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim. So the sons of Ammon were subdued before the sons of Israel." Jdg 11:32-33 (NASB)
"When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him with tambourines and with dancing. Now she was his one and only child; besides her he had no son or daughter. When he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, "Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you are among those who trouble me; for I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot take it back."" Jdg 11:34-35 (NASB)
Jephthah’s daughter is his only link to a natural heir. He says an interesting thing here. He states she has brought him very low. The Hebrew word is “cara” and it means to bow down before a king. Jephthah who has won the war and now is the ruler of Gilead, must bow before the true king, God. Then he states that his daughter has troubled him, which is the Hebrew verb “akar” which literally means to stir up the waters. I think what is happening is that Jephthah is facing the reality of who God is. He is being humbled and stirred by the Spirit and realizes that his vow is no mere words but a covenant with God.
His daughter also knows this and responds appropriately:
Many interpret this as Jephthah sacrificed his daughter physically. This never would have happened in Israel because child sacrifice was an abomination to the Lord. If we look at his daughter’s words and what is on her mind, it is her virginity. She was weeping that she would know no man. The final verse makes that clear, “she” had no relations with a man. For a childbearing woman in Israel, this was like death. Bearing children through marriage covenant was a fulfillment of a daughter’s heart.
What can we learn from this? Let’s recount the parallels between Jephthah and Yeshua. Both were persecuted and rejected by their brothers. Both had a mother who was of questionable reputation. Both fulfilled their purpose through the persecution and the rejection of the mob. So how does Jephthah’s vow and daughter fit in?
The vow was a "sanctification" of Jephthah’s life. Through the vow, he tied Himself to the Lord and specifically the fruit of his life, his daughter. The daughter was, as a result of the vow, an offering to the Lord. She became a dedicated virgin to the Lord, married to Him alone. She didn’t know any carnal relations and bore no natural offspring. In this way, the daughter of Jephthah is a picture of the church. The church is Holy to the Lord, His bride alone. It bears no natural children. Even though believers have natural children, they only become the children of the Lord supernaturally through the new birth. In this way, the church is the daughter of Jephthah.
What is really interesting is that the daughters of Zion would yearly commemorate the consecration of Jephthah’s daughter. This is in remembrance of her sacrifice. What is sacrificed is her natural inheritance for an inheritance of the Spirit. Jephthah under the anointing of the Spirit felt led to sacrifice his natural inheritance through his daughter unto the Lord for a spiritual inheritance. We know he obtained that inheritance because he is mentioned in Hebrews 11:32-40:
And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockingsand scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. Heb 11:32-40 NASB
This verse puts a demand on us that we look at Jephthah’s sacrifice through the eyes of the resurrection of Yeshua and the establishment of the kingdom. Notice that there is not a mention of the death of a daughter. Instead, there is mention of acts of righteousness and receiving approval through faith.
Faith is a two-way street. There is the word of God but there is also the speaking of man. Jephthah, whose name means an opening of the mouth, declares an oath to God, the sanctification of his natural lineage through his daughter becoming consecrated to God. Because of this, his sacrifice changes the spiritual atmosphere of the kingdom and the mob is vanquished.
One final point. After the battle, the scripture records the whining and threats of the Ephraimites, the largest tribe of Israel.
Then the men of Ephraim were summoned, and they crossed to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, "Why did you cross over to fight against the sons of Ammon without calling us to go with you? We will burn your house down on you." Jdg 12:1 NASB
Having defeated the external mob, the Ammonites, now the internal mob threatens to burn down Jephthah’s house. I cannot but notice the similar strategies of mobs today on American soil burning down houses in a similar spirit of protesting the perceived wrongs of the deliverer. Jephthah responds:
Jephthah said to them, "I and my people were at great strife with the sons of Ammon; when I called you, you did not deliver me from their hand. "When I saw that you would not deliver me, I took my life in my hands and crossed over against the sons of Ammon, and the LORD gave them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?" Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim; and the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, "You are fugitives of Ephraim, O Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and in the midst of Manasseh." The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan opposite Ephraim. And it happened when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, "Let me cross over," the men of Gilead would say to him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he said, "No," then they would say to him, "Say now, 'Shibboleth.'" But he said, "Sibboleth," for he could not pronounce it correctly. Then they seized him and slew him at the fords of the Jordan. Thus there fell at that time 42,000 of Ephraim. Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead. Jdg 12:2-7 NASB
This is the judgment that happens on those who cannot be grateful for the deliverance of God, choosing to criticize the man of God, in his imperfections.
Activation: Gratitude: What have you been ungrateful for? It’s time to count our blessings.