Remember a few chapters back when the Ephriamites complained to Gideon for not calling on them to help him fight the Midianites? At that time Gilead masterfully turned away their anger by pointing out how much more was their contribution to Israel by their cleaning up of the stragglers of the Midianites.
So here in chapter 12, the same tribe comes against Jephthah with the same complaint. They wanted to participate in the glory of battle and share in the spoils as victors. Unlike Gilead, however, Jephthah is pretty blunt with them.
He tells them, “I asked you but you refused. So I went ahead into battle against the Ammonites and God gave me victory.” Notice he didn’t say, “And I defeated them.” He gave credit to God.
The Ephriamites’ complaint came from a place of pride and greed. They wanted bragging rights. They wanted to be thought of as great warriors. And they wanted to have some of the loot that goes to the victors in battle. Pride and Greed.
These are not characteristics that God is fond of.
Jephthah, in giving God the glory for the defeat of the Ammonites showed a character of humility, something that God loves.
Anything other than humility is really kind of silly, if you think about it. What talent, what ability, what intelligence do we have that wasn’t given to us by Almighty God? The claim of, “I am a self made man!” is patently ridiculous, when you think about it. Everything that I am, anything good that I have accomplished is because of what God has done in me.
And I’ll bet that the same is true of you, dear listener. What has God done in and through you? Write to me and let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org or post your comments on the show notes page at bible.lifespringmedia.com. Look for episode number 237.