每日诗歌: 耶穌愛你 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTpkJcWOlcQ)
Judges 10 [Read]
Judges 11 [Read]
Luke 9:1-36 [Read]
Sometimes, I like to approach the Scripture in a humanistic way. Instead of strictly following the historical-grammatical rules of interpretation, I try to read what’s behind the literal words. I do not use it to develop any biblical doctrines to live by. However, such human view provides me with special light in my walk with the Lord.
Jephthah was a tragic character. He was born in a corrupted age and surrounded by many gods (10:6). It was so bad that the LORD seemed to have given up on his people (10:13). Jephthah had a tough childhood and was kicked out of his home (11:2). I could not imagine what that would do to his personality.
Then, he was summoned back to lead his people against the Ammonites. With the Spirit of LORD on him (11:29), he successfully destroyed the enemies (11:33). However, his trust of the LORD was as superficial as that of Jacob in the wilderness (Gen 28:20-22). That caused him to make a horrible vow to try to manipulate God into helping him (11:31). There was no justification by the Mosaic Law for human sacrifices, and he paid dearly for that (11:34-35).
The tragedy intensified because his daughter was his only offspring, which was uncommon for that period (8:30, 10:4, 12:9, 14). Though he was forced by his daughter to honor his vow (11:36), I cannot imagine his heart being without bitterness. After all, God did not step in like he did with Abraham (Gen 22). But why should he? It was all Jephthah’s own sins that resulted in this, and God never spoke a word to him throughout the incident. The bitterness turned into unquenchable rage against the tribe of Ephraim, and he slaughtered 42000 of them without mercy (12:6).
It’s hard to make a judgment about Jephthah, and I shall gladly leave that to God (Heb 11:32). But it saddens me to see what the environment and upbringing can do to a person. Most of us including myself harbor bitterness resulted from the past, and it can easily twist our mind and impact our deeds. Let us hold tight to the love of God which can “cover over a multitude of sins” (1 Pt 4:8), so we may truly be freed from the slave master of the Evil one.
Keep on reading,