We need you when we need you

Judges Bible Background

Old Testament: Jdg 11.8–11

To read the Bible in a year, read Judges 10–11 on April 3, In the year of our Lord Christ 2020

By Don Ruhl

Jephthah’s brothers kicked him out because he had a different mother than they had. So he left. While gone he became a great military leader. Later Israel got in trouble, but they had heard of his exploits. Therefore, they invited him to be their commander. He reminded them of what they had done to him and he wanted to know why they came to him when they were distressed.

They gave an answer, that in my mind was not adequate, but he accepted their answer:

And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That is why we have turned again to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the people of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you take me back home to fight against the people of Ammon, and the LORD delivers them to me, shall I be your head?” And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The LORD will be a witness between us, if we do not do according to your words.” Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD in Mizpah.

– Judges 11.8–11

To me their answer was: We need you when we need you. When it is convenient for us, we need you. We were ashamed of you before, but now we are in trouble and we think that you can help us.

To Jephthah’s credit, he helped them. They were his fellow Israelites, and they were of his family. Like Joseph’s brothers wanted him dead but later they needed him, so Joseph helped.

Questions:

  • The elders of what town invited Jephthah?
  • Has family rejected you before?

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