Jdg 11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.
Jdg 11:3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.Jdg 11:8 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
Jdg 11:9 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head?
Jdg 11:10 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words.
There are many applications found in this interpretation of the account of the judgeship of Jephthah. I would like to consider it from the perspective of humility. Here is a man that had no control over his parentage but was discriminated against in the most humiliating fashion. Because of the immoral decisions of the parents he was run out of his country and away from his family. Again, his people did this to him for no fault of his own.
Jephthah possessed an innate leadership and militant quality that fit him to the environment of combat. Consequently the leadership of his homeland sent for him to come and lead them to victory against the Ammonites. He answered the call and even quickly assimilated back to his homeland as revealed in this statement to the Ammonites:
Jdg 11:12 And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land?
The lesson I take from this account is the importance and profit of maintaining humility in disagreements. How many people were delivered from death and bondage due to Jephthah’s willingness to come to the aid of those that had treated him so poorly? God has a purpose for your life and it may not be so readily apparent at first glance. Certainly in the day leading to the start of the Revolutionary War the colonists thought themselves to be on the right side of the issue. Yet, no less than John Adams wrote the following line to his beloved Abigail, “Heaven grant us victory, if we deserve it, if not, patience, humility, and persistence in defeat.” While totally convinced their position was correct, he remained open to the prospect they would not emerge victorious. Likewise, Abraham Lincoln, in the thralls of the Civil War was questioned by a soldier, “Is God on our side?” To which Lincoln replied, “Whether God is on our side is not the question. The question is, ‘are we on God’s side?’” While deathly certain their cause was right, victory was not assured in Lincoln’s heart and therefore he continually searched to discover God’s will in the conflict.
As you go about your life today maintain a humility that allows you to accept that God alone knows best. Do not avoid conflict but ensure you have sufficient information to defend your position before going into combat. BTW, God did bring about victory and deliverance through the humble spirit of Jephthah.