The Bible tells us that Jephtah’s mother was a prostitute. This is something he could not change. It was a fact that he had to deal with for as long as he lived. In Israel this was a serious issue because people’s view of anyone with this kind of background was not emulated. This also meant that he would possibly be denied of his inheritance in his father’s house. This is the reason why Jephtah’s brothers mistreated him and finally forced him to leave his home.
In Judges 11:1-2 the Bible says, “Jephthah, a brave soldier from Gilead, was the son of a prostitute. His father Gilead had other sons by his wife, and when they grew up, they forced Jephthah to leave home. They said to him, “You will not inherit anything from our father; you are the son of another woman” (GNB). The relationship with his brothers was abusive in more obvious ways than subtle. They wanted him to leave and did not care about how he would survive in life. Japhtah’s brothers were focused on gaining material things than on a relationship with him.
Now, the closest people that any one can ever have in life are people in his own family. If family is not as close to him then such a one can so easly be surrounded by vain people. This is what happened to Japhtah. In judges 11: 3 the Bible says, “Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. There he attracted a group of worthless men, and they went round with him” (GNB). In the land of Tob Japhtah attracted worthless men. The kind of people we attract matter. What kind of people do you attract? Watch what is going on in your life and make a resolve to walk with God because it is now time to attract people who love God in your life.
People just never turn out to be immoral. It all starts some where and by people we do not pay attention to in our analysis of life when what happened is already in the past. It is a fact that people do not just become prostitutes from nowhere. Something must have happened in their lives. As a matter of fact, some people turn out that way because they were sexually abused by their own closest family members. When a person is hurt by people who are supposed to protect him or her, he loses a true sense of moral direction. On that same note we have to remember that we have all lost that true sense of direction because of Adam and Eve who sinned in the garden of Eden. We are no better than anyone else. In Romans 3:23 the Bible says, “everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence” (GNB). God’s saving presence is only found in Christ and now anyone can be saved through his grace.
When we talk about Japhtah, we kind of forget that his father is the one who made a wrong decision by sleeping with a strange woman. Now, Japhtah had to suffer for it. That abused child on the street is right now suffering for what happened. He or she has no idea why there is so much conflict in his life that no one can fully explain. That innocent little girl whose worth was trampled upon then can now not see her true value because of the abuse. This is the reason why she has ended up surrounding herself with worthless people just like what we see in Japhtah’s life. The good news is that Jesus can restore her true sense of direction.
Now, if Japhtah ended up winning battles for Israel because God was with him, anyone can be used by God despite having a background that may not be as favorable. What matters is the favor of God. In Christ anyone can truly walk with God and win many battles of life because of the favor of God.
Are you ready to win your battles?