“Jephthah answered, ‘I and my people were engaged in a great struggle with the Ammonites, and although I called, you didn't save me out of their hands. When I saw that you wouldn't help, I took my life in my hands and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave me the victory over them.’”
I’ve known some 50 year old adolescents. I call them midolescents, people who never quite grew up. They still depend on others for their safety, happiness, and success. When they don’t get what they need, adult-children blame others. Aging parents are favorite targets of 40, 50, or 60 year old children. Presumably, if their parents had been more (or less) attentive or indulgent; stricter or more permissive; kinder, nicer, more understanding and qualified, the child, who is now an adult, would be a well-rounded human being. The adult-child’s stressors, conflicts, traumas, disappointments, and failures are mom and dad’s fault (or anyone besides his or her own). Character flaws are not an occasion for the hard work of personal growth, but rather an opportunity to point fingers.
Jephthah was the 10th judge in Israel (according to the biblical record if you count Barak and Abimelech, but not Eli). He ruled Israel for 6 years about 1,100 years before the birth of Christ. Jephthah was the son of a prostitute. His father’s wife and other sons kicked Jephthah out of the home despising him as “the son of another woman” (Judges 11.2). Jephthah hung out with the wrong crowd, “worthless fellows” (Judges 11.3) and, having good reason to blame his family of origin, could have remained a child for the remainder of his life. Instead, this man of God (as imperfect as he was) took hold of one important truth…
No one was going to help Jephthah.
If he was to better himself, he better do it himself.
This attitude gave Jephthah fierce confidence to lead Israel in a successful rebellion against the Ammonites and their 18 year reign of tyranny. His unhappy childhood became an asset. It taught Jephthah self-reliance, a character trait that catapulted him to the top rung of Israel’s political ladder.
Jephthah asked for help in his war against the Ammonites, but when help was not forthcoming, he refused to whine or blame others. The judge of Israel simply took charge: “When I saw that you wouldn’t help, I took my life in my hands… and the Lord gave me the victory.”
It may be time to grow up. You don’t need to depend on anyone else for your safety, happiness, or success. Stop pointing the finger of blame and, taking full control of your life, affirm with Jephthah:
“I took my life in my hands... and the Lord gave me the victory.”
We all need a loving community of faith, but that starts with Jesus and you. He is more than enough. Jesus is the only savior you need.
Check out over 1,000 pictures at "Idioms by Kids" (http://www.idiomsbykids.com/). This is where I found the I found the clever "Grow Up" image.
Thank you for visiting my Bible web log. It is a collection of personal insights gained from my daily practice of devotional study in God's Word. The entries were inspired by a two-year Bible reading cycle beginning in May 2006.
Please post your comments at the end of any article. I appreciate hearing from you.
In spite of the inspired efforts of prophets like Elijah and Elisha, the northern nation of Israel with its capital city of Samaria suffered under a parade of unworthy kings who led the people into destruction and captivity at the hands of Assyria approximately 722 years before the birth of Christ. The author of 2nd Kings offered this explanation…
“All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God” 2nd Kings 17.7
Following the persecution and dispersion of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 8.1-4), chief accuser Saul miraculously converted to Christianity and together with Barnabas was appointed by the Holy Spirit to embark on a missionary journey (Acts 13.1-3). Being rejected by the Jews, Saul (later called Paul) brought the message of Jesus to the Gentiles in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13.47).
Twenty centuries later, believers are still bringing this message of power, hope, and salvation to “the ends of the earth”…
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” Acts 16.31
Bible Reading Plan
There are 52 weeks and 260 weekdays in any given year (52 X 5 = 260). Coincidentally, there are also 260 chapters in the New Testament. By reading one chapter of the New Testament every Monday through Friday, you will finish the entire New Testament in a year.
If you are a little more ambitious, you may want to read the whole Old Testament in a year on this 5 day a week reading plan.
Avid Bible students may accomplish the entire Bible each year by simply reading both Old and New Testament columns in the reading plan provided at the link below.
If you fall behind, use the weekends to catch up. If you fall far behind, don’t worry about it. Just pick up your reading for the day. The study of God’s Word should not be approached as a competition or legal requirement for believers. You don’t have to read the Bible. You get to. Enjoy your time in the Scriptures and read with a spirit of anticipation. Jesus will speak to you through His Word.
You may obtain current versions of this Bible reading plan at these links:
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Dedicated to the mission of Word Traveler:
--"Transforming lives by a daily encounter ---with God through His Word."