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20 The Faith of Jephthah

Benjamin Ng
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  • October 23, 2020
    7:00 PM
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Father in heaven thank you so much for this time thank you Lord for seeing a safely through the past week thank you Lord for all the praises that are on our lips and the things that we're sharing with each other about your goodness and thank you lord that you promised that if we are asked you will give us your Holy Spirit and so this evening Lord we are asking because we need help to understand your word I pray that you to guide us in our study together I pray that you please be with us and lead us as we go and look at this character in the Bible of just the when you leave us with your spirit we pray in Jesus name Amen. I have slides for you this evening and so you be able to read along and will be able to go a little bit quicker and so our 1st text really there is found in the foundation of Hebrews chapter 11 Hebrews 11 we've been going through this chapter and in this verse we've been here for quite a few weeks actually. Why because it just lists out a whole list of people and right in the middle of it you can see that is bold and underline that name Jeff done and it's different to the title of my sermon because in the Old Testament His name is not spelt this way so you do do a word search on that specific name without figure out the actual original meaning the original spelling your find in the Old Testament at all but it says here What more shall I say for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and of Barack and of Samson and of just the of David also and Samuel and of the prophets just as I said is probably the least famous character in all of Hebrews 11 especially all these characters that we see are such illustrious characters and in the Old Testament there really is only one chapter devoted to him there's another chapter that follows it that has a little bit of description but really nothing much of significance so his story is found in judgers Chapter 11 and I'm not going to read really the whole chapter this evening so if you want to go back and still get a bit further background you can read that chapter through this evening after our study but we're going to start in Judges Chapter 11 and reading in verse one. Now Jeff that the Gilliard it was a mighty man of valor and he was a son of a harlot and Gilliard begat Jephthah and Gilliard white bear him sons and his wife's sons grew up and they thrust out Jeff the and sell into him that all shall not inherit our father's house for the son of a strange woman then Jeff the flood from his brother and to wealth in the land of toll and they're gathered vain men to Jeff the and went out with him the introduction of justice seems to not start off very well it does say he's a mighty man of valor He's a brave man a strong man a valiant man an able man a virtuous man these are the definitions that the hue Brewer word implies when you look at the concordance he is a really good man yet in that same breath it says he's the son of what a harlot or harlot and you know his dad obviously slept with a prostitute and gave birth to him in even though he was the son of his father. His brothers from Gilliard wife would not accept Him and cast them out because they didn't want him to have any inheritance in their family they wanted nothing to do with him they didn't want anything to do with them rather Jeff there had every reason from a young age to be a bad man a drunkard an outcast of society because he was cast out of out of his home and rejected by his own flesh and blood but he didn't let his circumstances get the better of him and dictate what he ought to be in these sorts of circumstances in fact he chose to be a better person Remember the Bible describes him as a valiant and a virtuous man and so even though the the the life that he lived handed him sour grapes He even though didn't have the best start in life and the love that he needed in the home he never gave him the excuse himself the excuse to be a bad person he never pointed to his life and say well you never had your brothers and sisters or even your mother and father rejects you did you know he never gave himself excuses as why he would be allowed to act in a sinful way but rather he became better because of it. You know already we're here we learn an important lesson we must never give ourselves excuses as to why we are allowed to act a certain way as if we are privileged or we just have this reason why we can be bad because I had an upbringing that was bad we must not blame our past or our our circumstances or our upbringing because why God's grace is sufficient to overcome every cultivated and inherited tendency to sin and even all could overcome all the worst of circumstances to help us to be sons and daughters of God So even from the very beginning there we learned a very important lesson about the faith of Jeff the but now let's continue we're going to continue reading there in verse 4. And it came to pass in the process of time that the children of Ammon made war against Israel and it was so that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel the elders of Gilliard went to fetch just the out of the land of told and they said to just come and be our captain that we may fight with the children of Ammon and just the servants of the elders of Delia did not you hate me and expel me out of my father's house and why are you come now and to me when you are in distress and the elders of Gilliard said and suggest the therefore we turn again to the now that the army is to go with us and fight against the children of Ammon and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilliard So as a story progresses even though he is an outcast when the Ammonites come to fight against the children of Israel the 1st thing they do is they run back to Jeff the to lead them in battle they won back to him because they need help and it was obvious even to those that had cast him out that he was a man of valor that he was a virtuous man and that God was with them and at the 1st sign of trouble they knew that the who they could trust and who they could turn to and not even a 2nd thought they were quick but Ammonites came they took off looking for just the and you know sadly this attitude is prevalent in our us today as well not only with people but how we treat God Sometimes friends. We easily forget God when we lack nothing when there is no trouble we become too proud to call him our God and to bend the knees to pray to him because of the many blessings that we enjoy but when things get difficult and all as fails we come running back to God At our last resort isn't that us many times how Jeff that was treated that's exactly how we treat God too isn't it but friends God is not a spare tire only to notice when we have a flat tire we must learn to have a close relationship with him just as Jeff did when he was rejected by men just he became even closer with God He did not give himself that excuse to be bad and point to his past situations to dictate who he thought he should be and you know we've got to learn learn to make Jesus a center of our lives it's better to live a life constantly with close to God rather than just remembering him when tragedies strike remember the time will come one day friends when we will see God and He will no longer be found that's what it says in Isaiah $55.00 in verse 6 sink in seek the the Lord while He may be found call ye upon him while he is near and so just Or he agrees he agrees to come back and help the children of Israel fight this battle. Much of judges Chapter 11 and this is why when a skip quite a lot here this evening much of the judges Chapter 11 really is this conversation that just the has with the children or that the leaders of the Ammonites who have come to fight against them you see the other night said that the land belongs to them and that's why they were coming to take it back whatever belong to them in the past but just the he goes and recounts the history that they actually the Israelites didn't intend to take their land when they were coming out of Egypt and making their march towards the land of Canaan but when they were passing through the land the Ammonites said no you cannot come through here and not only did they stop them but they came to attack them and so the children of Israel had no choice but to protect themselves and as a result they came into the Land of Israel and possessed the land and so you know just a he recounts all these things but you know what small but important fact know your history you know when you want to understand Bible prophecy you need to understand history friends many Asians we don't even know our Chinese history I don't know anything about Malaysian history the Country them living in here we are not really history people we like numbers we like math we like the sound of coins you know we like the the flipping of the money isn't it that's what the Chinese are usually businesspeople but here just to shows us how important it is to understand the history and to understand these things especially when it comes to prophecy Daniel and Revelation. But furthermore justice said and he said this in Judges 11 this long conversation that he has with them he said look for 300 years we've been here and you've done nothing about it why are you coming now but anyways he goes out to fight against the Ammonites and there is not much the Bible says in regards to the battle it's not like Deborah it's not of Barack that we saw last study before it's not like even the battles of Samson it was not like Gideon we don't really know much about the battle there that just had all we read in Judges Chapter 11 and verses 32 and 33 is this so just the passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them and the Lord delivered them into his hands and he smelt them from our aware and even till the come to minutes even 20 cities and into the Plain of the vineyard with a very great slaughter thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel and that's all we know friends God is the one that gives the victory just or he is the one that is able to fight and overcome the children of Ammon the Ammonites. But look the focus of the story and all this really of the 1st 33 verses that we've read or that we've gone through no one really knows much about just the probably many didn't even know that he was the son of a harlot you know so these details these are the sort of details that doesn't make Jeff the famous it's what comes after this that many people understand or know about some sort of story regarding the circumstance that we're about to read you see before Jeff that goes into a battle he makes a vow a promise to God basically he's asking God for help and he says God If you tell me I'm going to promise you something and look let's read his vow this is what his vile is all about judges 1129 to 31 then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jeff the and he passed over Gilliard and Manesar and passed over misfire of Gilliard and from this floor of Gilliard he passed over under the children of Ammon and just the vile a vile into the Lord and said If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands then it shall be that whatsoever come earth 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. Many people look at verse 31 you know when you read that over again many people read this vile from the angle that just the word sacrifice what ever that would come out from his home if God gives him the victory over the Ammonites this is the part of the story that Jeff that is really famous for friends and this is where we're really going to spend most of our time this evening but he vows of our and says God if you give me the victory when I go home in peace whatever comes up from my door this is how the Bible seems to render it whatever comes out from my door of my house I will offer it as a burnt sacrifice to you Well what comes out of just those House what is the 1st thing that comes out to greet him let's go to verse 34 and 35 and Jeff there came to miss her and to his house and behold his daughter came out to meet him with Tim rolls and with dancers and she was his only child beside her he had neither son nor daughter and it came to pass when he saw her that he rent his clothes and says Alas my daughter that has brought me very low and there are one of them that trouble me for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord and I can not go back but look friends did Jeff don't really sacrifice his daughter as a burnt sacrifice Surely not but many people when they read the story of Jeff there now for those that are forgotten the name I know that you're familiar with the sort of story in the Bible because why. He is the one that's famous for sacrificing his son or daughter you know has someone in the family never been done before but you know friends even Abraham didn't go through with it. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac but when he was at the point ready to kill him for a burnt sacrifice God said work stop he never went through with it just there would be the 1st person in history I guess to have gone through that but I'm going to show you this evening that Jephthah he did not sacrifice his daughter Ok many people they point to the story and say Christians they serve an reasonable and unloving and illogical God Many of had a hard time understanding this chapter so let's go through this slowly shall we how do we know that just did not sacrifice his daughter 1st Jeff there would have known the fact that the laws pertaining to how Israel was run and how the people were. Did not allow such acts to move forward look at this let's go to the Vatican 1821 and shall not let any of the I seed pass through the fire to Moloch neither shalt thou profane the name of their God I am the Lord Furthermore d. to run me 1231 to 32 that hour shalt not do so on to the Lord thy God for every abomination to the Lord which he hates of have they done to their gods for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods what thing soever I command you observe to do it thou shall not there to not diminish from it you see that was what the pagan gods did this was not something God was instructing he said this is an abomination Furthermore Deuteronomy 1810 through 12 there shall not be found among you anyone that make of his son or his daughter to pass through the fire or that uses divination or not observe or of times or in chanter or a witch or a charmer or a consultant with familiar spirits or a wizard or a necromancer for all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before the. It was clear that Moses wrote against these things it was clear that God did not accept such acts God calls it an abomination Surely he wouldn't allow such an act to proceed right and if Jeff the really did go ahead with it and it was an abomination surely we would not have seen his name in Hebrews 11 with all these other great men and women of faith surely his name would have been left out because there's not much talked about in the regards of that battle God gives him the victory but then he goes and does this horrible act surely God would not have allowed such a thing to take place but yet he is mentioned as one of the men with great faith Moreover we read in Judges 11 let's go back there and verse 29 and 30 that when Jeff the made the vile look at what it says in verse 29 then the spirit of the Lord came upon just the and he passed over Gilliard and Manesar and passed over Misbah of Gilliard from Misrata Gilead he passed over on to the children Ammon and then he vowed a vow but in the beginning of verse 29 do you see what came upon him the spirit of the Lord came upon just that he made this vow he made this promise under inspiration he was filled with the Holy Spirit when he made this vow intend to burn his daughter alive surely not so the Holy Spirit would lead him to sacrifice his daughter knowing that his daughter be the 1st thing that would come out from the house surely not right. So it doesn't make sense that just the word have sacrificed his daughter the less keep going there's a few more things that we can look at let's take a look at a clip of the close inspection of this valve that he makes in verse 31 then it shall be that whatsoever come a 4th 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 when you look at other modern Bible translations it doesn't really offer much insight they all seem to give support to the fact that just really sacrificed his daughter and it's one of those things that we just gloss over we just don't know how just the made and he was 11 we don't know how he could have been a good judge we don't know how God would have work worked through him right. And so these modern Bible translations don't seem to help at all and you know many times I've looked at different translations and they have helped but in this case I had to go one step further I had to look at the Inter linear Bible what is an interlinear Bible you'll see on this line here the top we have the verse of judges 1131 there and that's exactly what we just read and then below you'll see this long passage at the very top is the Huber who word itself below it is the Hebrew word of how it's pronounced and then below that is the English words so when the people try to to translate the Bible from Hebrew into English this is how they read it and he becomes the one coming forth which he is coming fall from doors of House of me to meet me in return of me in peace from Sons of Ammon and that kind of makes sense it will be whoever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace on the children of Mammon and then it says what he becomes to Yar way and I offer up him a sense offering Now when you look at this right. It could be read this way whoever comes from the door my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon that whoever comes that person will belong to you are way to the Lord and I will offer up to him God a burnt offering and a cent offering it could be read this way I will offer up to God a burnt offering on top of dedicating whatever comes out of my house to greet me the 1st thing that person or that thing or whoever it is whatever he was expecting will belong to the Lord and on top of that I will offer a burnt offering Now here's the thing. I want you to think about this who would just be expecting to come out of his house maybe his servants his wife of course his daughter here but a dog or a cat you know that the sheep and the ball and the cow and all of that that you would normally offer for a burnt offering would not be living in the house right so would make no sense that I mean if even if he says whatever comes up from my gate it would make no sense how would that the sheep or the car or the ball be free left wondering to roam around no they were in there their fenced areas they were kept safe right so it is just I was expecting some sort of blunt offering to come out there was acceptable to God he would have done that it makes no sense and if there were cats and dogs in the house you can't offer cats and dogs as a burnt offering such unclean animal would not be accepted by God right so it doesn't make sense that he was saying whatever comes out of my house the 1st thing that greets me I'm going to sacrifice that for a burnt offering He couldn't have said that so clearly because he didn't know it could God doesn't accept humans for burnt offerings and he doesn't accept dogs or cats or pigs or camels or you know darks or chickens he didn't accept any of those things he did accept goat and sheep round ball right so it doesn't make sense that he would say such a thing thinking that this would be a burnt offering so friends what was the vile of just the what was he willing to offer to God You see it was not as a burnt offering it was just like how Hannah was dedicating her son Samuel to the work of God. And whoever came out of his house he would offer to God to devote to the service of God and maybe he was expecting a servant you know and why the daughter caused so much anguish of soul because he only had one daughter and so the dedication of just the daughter apparently meant that his daughter would remain a virgin for the rest of her life and not only did he only have one daughter she was the only child of Jeff the let's continue reading back in Judges Chapter 11 verses 37 to 39 and she said on to her father let this thing be done for me let me alone 2 months that I may go up and down upon the mountains and be well my virginity and my fellows and he said go and he sent her away for 2 months and she went with her companions and be wailed her virginity upon the mountains and it came to pass at the end of 2 months that she returned unto her father who did with her according to his vile which he had vowed and she knew no man and it was a custom in Israel so that the text finishes off in verse 40 but you do see there at the very end that he did according to his vow and the result was she knew no man so now these text that we read it makes more sense why is she we willing her virginity because now she is not going to be sacrificed she's not going to die that's why she's be very be willing her virginity she's sad because now she knows that she's been dedicated to God she can't get married she can't have children she's going to be a virgin for the rest of her life and so why would just to be. So sad and anguished because his bloodline would stop right here. That was his only daughter his only child there was not going to be anyone else that would continue his family life and this one that is living should be a virgin which also meant that for certain the Messiah would not come through him because his bloodline is about to start do you see that this is the reason why she was be well you have rigidity this is the reason why just or were so caught up and sad when he saw that the daughter would be the one that would come out of the house now we know that he did not burn his daughter alive that we understand how he made it into Hebrews chapter 11 you know just that he was faithful to his vile he was faithful to his word and he still chose to trust God in spite of what god allowed to happen maybe some people look at Justin says all he made a rash promise why would you have to make such a thing just that it was not needed and sometimes they were compared to Saul when they were out in battle and he said No man is allowed to eat until our enemies are destroyed and he was willing to kill his son Jonathan because he had taken some honey and gain some strength you see and some people Hey Jeff there was really he was just rash but he was filled with the spirit of the Lord when He made this vile to God and even though when he saw his daughter come out he was sad but he didn't complain he didn't go back on his promise he didn't doubt God or get angry at him and say why God but he chose to be faithful to God and to the promise to the vile that he had made. Friends this is a really important lesson for us to learn today learning to be men and women who are true to their word and you know sometimes friends it's easier to be true to another human being why we see each other face to face but sometimes we too easily let go of the vile that we make to God you know before you ever join the church we have baptism of our house you commit to these vows you commit to your word you stand before a group of people that see you raise your hand or say yes or I do that you're saying I'm committing to God It's like a marriage vow and sometimes we are so easily able to commit to the marriage vow but when it comes to the vows that the promises that we make to God we break it too easily why God doesn't stand there like an angel standing before Bale and ready to kill him and say hey you know you don't listen to me God doesn't seem to work in that way nowadays does he to some yes he does but many times when we break our vows to God We find it too convenient whether it be through our tie our offering the commitments that we made from a week ago to say I'm going to come to church on time or early or you know I'm going to give God the strength of my manhood and I'm going to serve Him we will tell people all I want to serve God more and and when we tell people I want to I want to be there and be more involved than what involved but when the time comes. You know where to be found and so after we make these vows and promises and they're empty promises we make excuses we like to blame people we like to blame our circumstances but friends we see here Jeff that he did not do any of that and he didn't say all God You understand right surely I only got one daughter he didn't make excuses. But too often we do but this is what the Bible says about the promises that we make Look at Deuteronomy 232-1223 when thou shall devour vile unto the Lord thy God Now shalt not slack to pay it for the Law God will surely require it of the and it would be sin in the you see that it would be sin but of valor shall forbear to vile it shall be no sin that which is gone out of the lips without shopkeep and perform even a free will offering according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God which has promised with the vine mouth do you see that friends when we make a promise when we make a vow if we don't go through with that the Bible here calls it a sin we got to be men and women of our word to day and it's so easy and convenient to go back against it you know when the early church was growing up there in the book of Acts people began to sacrifice their lands and give up things and and so that they could support the work and support those that were poor and needy and an annoyance and Safira saw their land to give it to the Lord but they held part of it and then they lied to Peter saying we have given everything. They made a promise but when that money was sitting in their hands and they saw wow I never held so much cash in my hands before their heart failed and they went back on their promise to God They died as a result. God was no different from the Old Testament God that uttered this this this instruction in Deuteronomy then he was in the New Testament and he showed the early church how important it was to be true and have fidelity towards God and this is what we read also in the New Testament Matthew Chapter 1236 and 37 but I say unto you that every I don't worry that men shall speak they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment for by the words that all shall be justified and by the words that be condemned also Chapter 5 in verse 37 but let your communication be yea yea nay nay for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil all friends we got to make sure that we are keepers of our word that when we say yes we really mean yes and when we say no we really mean no never make a promise that you're not able to keep Be careful about what you say if you cannot keep it make sure you just don't promise at all but friends this evening I have question for you can people trust your word can people believe you when you say something are we truthful with the words that we say are we responsible for putting into action the promises that we make this is what we call responsibility and being a chore growing in faith this is where I believe Jeff is allowed into Hebrews 11 with all along those other illustrious characters because he made that vow to God even at the expense of his own blood life even at the cost of his daughter having to serve God and being a virgin for the rest of his her life even though he would never be a grandfather even though even though he never made excuses friends he never made. Excuse us and if we want to be a Christian and a light to the world friends so that people be attracted to Jesus Christ we have to become men and women of our world today and friends beyond men and women and the promises that we make to them what are the promises that you have made to God This evening start with those baptism or. Start with the commitment that you made to God before you got baptized No one forced you into it by hope not and I hope that you made a well informed decision that you decided yourself to follow Jesus all the way and then go beyond that did you make promises to give him a certain amount of your finances did you promise him that you would serve him if he got you a job or got you the scholarship or help you with this you know we make promises all the time to God and many times we break them as well friends sometimes is tempted to tell God God I really don't have much this month surely you understand right but you made the promise just or could have said that is my only child God my only child I don't have anyone else you know maybe you get a bargain with God God of you if you let my wife have another child our giver he could have changed his vile and modified it dependent upon something else but he didn't he gave his daughter fully unto the Lord today God is waiting for his children to be true to their word true to their promises even though it comes at a sacrifice and calls for self-denial and so really what is it about our promises it's about self we back out of these promises that we make to God because. It rubs against what God wants but against what we want what our desires are and many times I would say 99 percent of the time is not a need it's not it's just our desires and we are scared friends this is where we have to learn to have faith to trust God that through this commitment that we make. He will do exceedingly above abundantly above all that we ask or think we've got to get to the point that we trust God and then when he tells us and then we say Ok God Let us learn to trust them that he knows what is best for each and every one of us and that when he allows this point to move forward and the vile comes into to practice now we give us the strength to obey but in here he's got to give us the willingness for us you know when the daughter came out and he said Our why we've done this to me I vowed a vow to God and I can't go back that's the promise that had settled in this heart before he even reached home he made a firm decision so today friends don't let the motions get the better of you sometimes we make these decisions and we listen to sermons like this and you hear that appeals are made and say Ok you're going to make this decision and then you allow people to convince you that all was emotional and we would look at just the today and say all just to you're being rash you're being impetuous you're being emotional but he wasn't he wasn't God knew best and so today friends in the quietness of your hearts what promises of you make to God Have you really promise that you can follow his word and you follow His Word today. You're not breaking up because of the devil you're breaking up because of yourself in the decisions that you make he just started putting less and less and less and less money in to the church because of somebody or something that happens to you you don't make a vow to the pastor you don't make a vile to any person in the church you made a vow to God to give your tithes and offerings but to a man we don't change of ours because of circumstances that happen no friends if we know this is right by the grace of God may he help us to go through with what we have promised he'll give us a strength but he can't force us to be willing friends so I pray that you would learn to trust him today and His promises are true but yours must be as well let's pray Father in Heaven Lord sometimes we think that man's promises just mean nothing at all and we don't take it seriously with you but you take it so seriously with us Lord I pray that you please be with us help us help us to apply the things that we have promised to you help us to be faithful to you help us to trust you Lord strengthen our faith today and help us to go through with what has been promised and so far just ask that you continue to lead and guide each of us today help us to walk in accordance to the will in no way fill us with your spirit or Lord and give us the faith of just today to follow through. With what we have valued and promised to you. For the rest of this evening Oh lord and until we meet again keep us safe we pray Jesus the. Name of. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon or leave a visit w w w audio verse or.

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