The basic background to this situation in the life of the Israelites related to their abandoning the God of Israel that got them out of bondage from Egypt. They all went whoring with the small gods of the people God drove out for them to dwell on the land that was flowing with milk and honey. It was the usual habit of the Israelites that when they were in deep oppression and depression they would always return to God.The Gileadites were under the oppression of the people of Ammon. They lacked a leader who could lead them to war. The Israelites called on God and won HIS favor.
The idea of revisiting an earlier post is to have a critical look into what aided the continued victory of the Gileadites in battles. Judges 11:1-12 gave us the background to the strength of the Gileadites. Jephthah was earlier disowned by his father’s other sons because he was the son of a harlot. They said “You shall have no inheritance in our father;s house, for you are the son of another woman” This forced him to rely on God himself. “Jephthah fled from his brother’s and dwelt in the land of Tob; and worthless men banded together with Jephthah and went out raiding with him”. In this circumstance, Jephthah showed himself as a good leader for him to have been able to train the so-called “worthless men” to become mighty men of valor who fought with courage and finesse. All Israel had confessed their sin to God and discarded all their strange gods and returned the God of their fathers. God decided to have compassion on them but no group had the strong army to fight for them. Jephthah, the rejected member of his father’s house became the only credible leader to lead Israel to battle their enemies. His prowess was comparable to David’s situation in which he had only about 600 men to King Saul’s “three thousand chosen men” 1Samuel 24: 2. David was a very strong leader who underwent tough circumstances but overcame difficulties that beset him as God was with him all along.
Jephthah had God-given power, might and compliance with priestly advice and directives that made him obey God. As a rejected son in his father’s house he placed emphasis on training and development not only in the physical but also in the spiritual. His followers were great men of valor and faith. He possibly would not have fought the Ephramites if they had not dared him on top of earlier occurrence of breaking the code of kinship cooperation. Jephthah tied his fate to God. He paid his vow in the most sorrowful and regrettable manner to seal his triumph over household and other enemies.
God isn’t a robot the way in which HE answers prayers.
Answered prayers are a two-way process of man saying prayers to God in faith and answers being granted by the Almighty God through Christ our savior. Psalm 5: 3 (NKJV) says; “My voice you shall hear in the morning O Lord, in the morning I will direct to you, and I will look up” Also, it is declared in Psalm 3: 4 (NKJV) “I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy place”. The bridge between man and God is FAITH. Even though God specially called Moses to go and ask for the release of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, yet he needed faith to buttress his absolute obedience to what God instructed him to do from time to time. Moses faithfully trusted God and was full of obedience. His obedience was based on his meekness which God attested to. Therefore, when he prayed for God’s guidance, he was always receiving the required correct answer. The various plagues suffered in Egypt happened consequent upon Moses’ prayer induced God’s punishment on Egypt for suffering the chosen people of God for 430 years.
There are so many prayers said that we can say God does not honor. A true believer must take time to consider parent-child relationship concerning the lots of requests made by children and those granted them. Is it not out of parental genuine care that not all requests are granted? Where parents know the bad after-effect of request if granted, they tend to prevent or delay granting the request until an appropriate time. On a greater spiritual level therefore, there is relevance between the love of parents and their children as well as the manner in which God answers our prayers. If parents as mortals do love their children so dearly, how much more about God’s love for mankind that he always considered His children’s prayer for their benefit and never for their destruction.
He considers the pros and cons before deciding to grant any prayer, delay the answer or prevent it from manifesting which the supplicant does not know in advance. God is all-knowing and He performs wonders without having to obtain clearance from mankind. For instant, a usurper planning to overthrow the incumbent, when there is God’s divine intervention the secret would leak out. Such would be usurper would get punished and not praised. Therefore the believer who is upright in heart or a person with integrity still needs to be righteous to ensure receiving answers to prayers in the manner in which the Patriarchs, Moses or Hannah prayed and received the right answers. Answered prayers ensured the miraculous release of Peter from King Herod’s prison while preparing to kill him Acts 12: 1-10 (NKJV). God knew the great role Peter was still to play and therefore sent an Angel to secure Peter’s release. This enabled him to lead the Church of Christ and was able to be part of the spreading the gospel.
God’s love is from generation to generation. The trio of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob demonstrated a two-way love cord that connected the three patriarchs to God’s love. It is highly significant in the life of Jacob, later called Israel. He became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. The patriarchs all loved, trusted, worshipped and obeyed God. Even while they, the Israelites were in Egypt for 450 years in bondage, God never forgot his love bond with the lineage of the patriarchs. In his divine love, God saw the afflictions of His people – the Hebrews – and orchestrated their release from bondage. He used Moses, a Hebrew child but brought up as a prince of Egypt in all their arts and culture to effect God’s will. With filial love for the Hebrews he met out instant justice to a wicked Egyptian task-master and became a fugitive in the land of Midian for 40 years.
God commissioned him to go and secure the release of the children of Israel from bondage. In love God took them to the promised land but got rid of the disobedient generation that left Egypt before settling down in the land of Canaan. Armament in war does not ensure victory, rather God’s mysterious hand upon Israel brought down the walls of Jericho – a highly dreaded and fortified city – all because of obedience to the war strategies God gave them. Divine love when sustained conquers fear, defeat and sorrow in the life of man.