There was a time when the nation of Israel was led by Judges. These judges led Israel in battle and some of their exploits are recorded in the book of Judges. Now, one of these judges is Jephthah.
In Judges 11:1 the Bible says, “Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah” (KJV). Jephthah had to learn to fight much early in life and that is why in adulthood he became a mighty man of valor. His mother was a prostitute and that situation placed him at a disadvantage, but from early in life he learnt how to fight.
In verse two of the same chapter the Bible says, “And Gilead’s wife bare him sons; and his wife’s sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father’s house; for thou art the son of a strange woman” (KJV). One of the main causes of conflict in families is related to material things. Meterialism is subtle enough to cause heartaches among people who are meant to love each other. People who are meant to love each other can end up not talking to each other for years because they value material things more than they value their relationships.
Jephthah and his siblings were just fine until they began thinking about inheriting their father’s material things. This became a source of conflict in the family and it is still a source of contention in many families today. What did Jephthah choose to do? Jephthah chose to flee. He left his brothers alone. In fact, Jephthah refused to be defined by his past. This is the reason why you do not have to be defined by your past too.
In verse three of the same chapter the Bible says,“Then Jephthah fled from his brethren…”(KJV). Why does a might man of valor like Jephthah flee because of conflict in the family? He fled because he was wise enough to know which battles are worth fighting. Jephthah knew that fighting for family is better than fighting against it. Fighting for people you love is just a natural thing to do and God does it for his people all the time.
During that family conflict, life did not afford Jephthah the opportunity to fight for his family and that is why he fled. We know that the natural response to life is to fight for family or nation, but when that life opportunity is denied, things can be confusing. Yes, it is the right thing to fight for your family and not against it, but if your life situation does not afford you the opportunity to do so, the best thing to do is to flee. Jephthah was wise enough to flee. It was the right choice.
Are you choosing your battles wisely?