July 5, 2019: Day 69 – Judges 11

You can chalk this down as one of the more, if not the most, disturbing Bible stories.  Jephthah is asked by the very same siblings who drove him out to help them out and lead them into battle.  He makes a deal with them and says I will lead you into battle,  but if we win then you will allow me to rule over you.  Okay, deal.  He then tries to diplomatically resolve the issue by telling the enemy that hey, we've been in this land together for these last 300 years.  Why do we need to go at each other now.  Let's leave that up to our progeny, let them fight it out.  Why can't we all just get along?   Yeah, not really, the king didn't buy it.  So..., Jephthah annihilates the king, but not before he has a meeting with the Lord and makes a vow.  This is where it gets disturbing.  He tells the Lord that the first person who comes out of his house he will sacrifice to the Lord upon his return home.  Now, who do you think he expected to come out of his house first?  Was it a win - win scenario where maybe he thought his wife would come out first, or a hated servant, or someone else that he thought would come out that he really didn't like and was hoping would disappear?  What we do know is that he did not expect his daughter to come out first.  Do you notice we don't see a name for Jephthah's daughter?   She is just Jephthah's daughter, or at least was.  This is one Scripture that you just wish the Lord would have intervened and said, actually, Jephthah, I'm going to punish you for making a stupid oath instead of killing your daughter.  Doesn't happen.  But at least we have a commemorative ceremony to take the place of a daughter's life every year.  
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