Judges Chapters 10 - 12


In the early 1970's, Simon and Garfunkel recorded a song that was a hit

A)In that song they asked a question that plagues our society


"Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you. What's that you say Mrs. Robinson? Joltin' Joe has left and gone away."


B) The question is an important one – where are all the heroes

1)   News Kobe Bryant this week – Impeccable Character – Class Act

Too Clean – Adidas Dropped – couldn’t sell shoes


C) Nike – new Contract – 45 million / Gave New Comer L James 90 mill

1)   He hasn’t done anything yet – Kobe – 3 titles / 5 times all-star

          Now this – Sad – No Heroes / No Role Models


Our Society lacks them / We look for them /

A)In the Book of Judges we have the stories of 12 men and 1 woman that were heroic in their accomplishments


B)JEPHTHAH is one of the most UNLIKELY heroes in the Book of           Judges because he was a man who considered to be a ZERO, but      ended up by the grace of God a HERO


C) We will look at his story tonight in Ch. 11- But first lets go thru Ch. 10 which sets up the scene -    RD V.1-5


Now here we are briefly introduced to 2 more Judges – Tola & Jair

Two guys who Judged a combined 45 yrs

A)There is not much said about these guys- Quiet Leaders

     NOT spectacular.... BUT they were  STABLE { 45 yrs of Peace


B)Nothing FLASHY to be noted - But they were CONSISTENT- sometimes those are the best type of leaders – Bush – Not a Media hound [Rd v.6 >

Then the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the people of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines;  [ They just go Bonkers in the worship of other gods – They completely abandoned themselves to the worship of the other gods around them ] and they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.


C) Now it is important to realize that although Israel kept doing the same thing – they were not going around in circles

1)See each time that they chose paganism over God’s truth, they sank lower & lower until finally here in Judges ch. 10 they reached one of the bleakest times in their history { Eph 4:22  Flesh grows more Corrupt


D) What we see here in v.6 is that they would have worshipped almost anyone or anything rather than the Lord God.

1) They basically gave themselves over to every other god – imaginable accept the God of Israel


7 So the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and into the hands of the people of Ammon.


E) In other words – if you want to follow the gods of the Philistines then you need to live with the kind of person the gods of the Philistines Produce

1) You have to live with the consequences of your decision !!!     RD v.8-14



Now the Children of Israel cry out to the Lord – But it was not a cry of repentance – it was only a cry of Despair – see they didn’t put away gods

A)So God says I am not going to help you – cry out to your foreign gods – let them deliver you from your distress


B)You chose them, now cry out to THEM.... You made your bed, now sleep in it

1) KNOW THIS: The day of trouble will come into your life

                    It rains upon the just and the unjust

C) In that day, cry out to the god you have chosen

1) IF you are living for pleasure... cry out to your pleasure and see what help you will get


D)IF you are living for materialism, cry out to your god and see if your riches can save

1)   It seems they recognized the FUTILITY OF  crying out to those gods


15 And the children of Israel said to the LORD, "We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this day, we pray." 16 So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD.


This is what TRUE REPENTANCE is

A) Confession-   We have sinned


B) Submission- Do to us whatever seems right to you... We submit to you


C) Action- They put away the foreign gods


Now the end of v.16 is one of the most touching verses in the Bible

And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel.

A)Here God’s people were under going the discipline that they richly deserved – God could have written them off


B) But in reality what we see is God’s heart was in turmoil over what they were suffering

1)   That is always the way that it is with God – His heart breaks when we sin – because He knows the suffering that goes along with it


C) Those of you who have had a Child rebel – you can relate to this – you have to let them go – Not so much mad at them – maybe at first

1)   But your heart breaks because you know what they are going to have to endure !!!! BREAKS YOUR HEART !!!!!!!


D) Nothing harder than seeing your children go thru Difficulties [Rd v17-18]

E)This is the constant cry of God’s people who is going to lead us – Who is going to begin to fight against the sons of Ammon 

1)   CH. 11 Introduces us to our Next Judge a man named Jephthah


Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead begot Jephthah. 2 Gilead's wife bore sons; and when his wife's sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out, and said to him, "You shall have no inheritance in our father's house, for you are the son of another woman."

A)So here we see that they drive Jephthah out because he was the son of a Harlot


B) God help us – not to hold against people things that are outside of their Control

1)   Children do not have a Choice who their parents are !!! 


C) We see so many Children bearing the consequences of the sins of their parents

1)   Sunday School – Kids that seem out of Control – Parents get frustrated – we don’t want our Child to be with him or her


D) Close our doors then : What are we here for. That hr each week might be the most influential hr in that Child’s life

1)   Don’t know what is happening at home : So often the parents are no where with the Lord – { Drugs what ever


E) About the only good thing that parent does all week long for their Child is to bring them to Church { It is our Opportunity to show them JESUS


Sad when kids grow up bearing a stigma – that is the result of their parents sin – they struggle with that their whole lives

A)Jephthah was the son of a Harlot but that wasn’t his doing – He had no choice in that matter – He is rejected for things that were beyond his control



B) This passage teaches us 2 very important things : 1st it teaches us to be very, very careful about who we undervalue !! Dysfunctional

1)2nd And it also teaches us of what God is able to do with a person who is under valued by others


C) We never know who God is going to raise up to be his man or woman of the Hr. – Here at this time it was Jepthah the son of a HARLOT

1)   Who was rejected by his step brothers & driven off - Talk about DYSFUNCTIONAL – Yet God had a Plan


D) Love looking at people – Seeing someone that God is using – someone whom God is working in – easy to think always been that way

1) Then you hear their Stories – background – See God took this person who came from Dysfunctional background – Over came that – Used by God


E) People who according to the experts of our society would have had every right to be a mess – have issues – but thru God’s grace they shine

1)   My Wife is that way!!! – Awesome to see /


F) Well Jephthah – Starts off in a Bad place – disaster – v.3

3 Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and dwelt in the land of Tob; and worthless men banded together with Jephthah and went out raiding with him.


TOB   was a tough place It was known for it's murderers and thieves

When he arrived there, Jephthah must have fit right in because

worthless men banded together with Jephthah and went out raiding with him

A)Jephthah and the Tob Mob - He started out a ZERO and hangs with ZEROES


B)You can almost picture him - Black leathers

 1) The loudest, unmuffled donkeys in the land - Running from fight to fight, party to party


C) He was the LEADER of the ZEROES - But look at what happened

                      RD V 4-8

Now the Lord takes this rejection that Jep. Experienced from his brothers & he is going to use it to build Character with in him

A)That is what God does – takes that which is a flaw in the eyes of others – uses it to build Character –



1)   Had to learn – I can’t be concerned about what others think of me


C) That is a very important concept – see every week I stand before people & pour out my heart – Share a message God has placed there

1) Sometimes that message is comforting & encouraging – other times it is Challenging & difficult – But I can’t be concerned about what you think


D) I need to just teach & preach what the Lord put on my heart

1)   Some Sundays people walk out – they avoid me – no eye contact & I know / I must have struck a nerve – Not on their most popular list


E) But Hey I was only faithful to the word – Can’t worry about that – what others think of me !! – Learned that early when I was Young


Jephthah’s rejection prepared him in 3 areas –

A)1st was in Military warfare & Strategy – He learned how to fight


B) WHY did ISRAEL come to him? Because the Ammonites were a gnarly bunch of people - They needed some men tougher than the Ammonites

1)They knew just where to find such men- The Tob Mob


C)They knew that Jephthah was even gnarlier than the Ammonites

1) They asked Jephthah to FIGHT because that was something that               Jephthah knew a lot about


D) Asking Jephthah to fight would be like asking Tim Duncan or Shaq to help out on the  church basketball team



2nd Jep learned was Leadership: It was no small Job to be the leader of a worthless band of men - & turn them into an effective force

A) David’s mighty men !!!!!  Indebt / Distress / Discontent - 


B)See God takes this rejection from his Brothers & uses it to develop Character with in his life that would have never been developed apart from that rejection


C)Like Joseph – Brothers – Slave / prison / But the Lord was w/ JOSEPH = over and over you read that

1) God used all of that to help Joseph become an incredible man – greatly used


D) End result – You meant it for evil – but God meant it for Good – then he defines the good – in order to keep many alive this day


 Listen Nothing in your past – once it is given over to the Lord - & he is allowed to work it together for His good – works against us

A)You see God takes that – turns it around to develop Character in my life – making me more like Jesus – more useful to Him & for Him


B)And using my life to influence a broader group of people than just myself

1)   Nothing works against us as a Child of God – it all gets turned around


C)Jep. Would not have become the leader that he became had he not be cast out !!!!!


B) 3rd Jep learned to Know God – Even though there were some glaring misconceptions in his Knowledge of God as we will see

1)   Jep used the personal name of God more than anyone else recorded in the book of Judges


C) He Knew Jehovah the Cov. Keeping God of Israel and despite his spiritual immaturity he was committed to God

1)His Knowledge of God was not very deep but it was REAL !!!!

A GROUP  of Broadcasters were holding a conference with some Soviet Christians, and one of the men asked a Russian – Brother, how did you manage to survive 32 yrs of a Soviet labor camp – The interviewer was expecting a tale of terror or an outburst of anger – Instead, the man quietly and gently answered, Brethren, even the desert looks like a  rose garden when you are in communion with the Lord”


D) Perhaps Jep knew something of that kind of experience. He did not have a father or mother to accept him – but He did have the Lord!!!

1)   He knew what it was like to be taken in by the Lord – when others rejected him                  RD V 9- 11


Here he confronts them with their sin – two cannot walk together unless they be agreed – mutual respect -  So here they are Reconciled


v.12-28 History lesson

A)Here we see the reality that the disputed territories of Israel DO belong to the Israelis


B)They acquired them before the nation of Israel ever entered the land of Canaan

1)   They acquired them in self-defense


C) Problem with the occupied territories in the middle east today  - conflict between Israel & the Arab world they ignore – History


V.29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed through Mizpah of Gilead; and from Mizpah of Gilead he advanced toward the people of Ammon.

A)Here we see the secret of his success and victory – it is always the case with God’s leaders – The Spirit of the Lord came upon him – he advanced


B) Want you to note that the Spirit of the Lord came upon him in a very practical matter – He wasn’t preaching a sermon / tongues / healing

1)   He was doing what needed to be done – he was leading an army

C) The Spirit of the Lord wants to come upon you tomorrow for that Business deal - / Wisdom

1)   Spirit of the Lord wants to empower you & fill you with understanding for raising your kids


D) Not just in the “Spirit things” but it is in the affairs of everyday life !!!


So the Spirit comes upon him but then Jep makes an unwise Vow

V. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, "If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, 31 then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD's, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering."


A)Jep makes a mistake here & it is a mistake that a lot of people make & it is really tied to 4  words that he says here


B) It is the first word IF V.30  Lord If you do this !! / And then the first word of v.31 – Then this is what I will do /

1)   then the last Phrase of V. 31  I will offer it up as …….


C) 4 un wise words – If / then / I will / Now he has moved from Grace – to works –

1)   Now he has moved from the Spirit to the flesh –


D) God is going to give him the victory- that is the reason that God has raised him up – there is no Question

1)   But some how in his mind he feels that he has to make this Vow to God


E) God if you do this then I will do this !!!  We don’t need to do that ever

1)   We don’t need to bargain with God !!!!



In our lives know this when ever we do that we are moving from Grace to works / from Grace to Justice / From Spirit to the flesh

A)Now I am going to give God something for what I am asking him to do


B) God didn’t want his Vow – The vow that he makes here is a foolish Vow

1)   Vows are foolish because it is an expression of self confidence – there is no Grace there – This is what I will do – [No worship – I did it !!!] 


C) If you then I – How do we know that we can do anything

1)   Wedding Vows – Eph. 5 – Key verse 18 = Thru the Power of the HS working in and thru my life


D) That is the only Vow that works – Lord I want to do this – only can if you empower me !!!!


So He makes a Vow that the first thing that comes out of his house he was going to offer to the Lord as a burnt offering –

A)This wasn’t as weird as it sounds – animals lived in the house in those days – so Jep is thinking – Gertrude the goat / Betsy the Cow { come out


B)Dad comes home and the Cow comes out to greet him- I know dads foot steps


C) But it doesn’t come out that way – We rarely have things so well figured out that we can be making vows !!!!


Watch the result of this Vow – V 32- 40  [ Note Excited great daughter only Child


Now a burnt offering was an offering that was completely consumed – put on the altar – burn IT in it’s entirety

A)Burnt offering was an offering of Consecration – why he made that  :  Lord mark that my life is completely consecrated to you !!! First thing out…


Now there is a lot of confusion as to what took place here – there are those who believe that Jep – actually sacrificed his daughter to the Lord

A)I don’t agree with that take on this passage for several reasons


B) #1 Human Sacrifice was completely forbidden in the law Duet 12:31– this was a man who had concern for the law of God  


C) 2ndly God set it up in Lev. 27 in the law that you could redeem your sacrifices with silver –

1)   In other words if you had a first born  lamb – you could redeem that lamb from being sacrificed by giving so many pieces of silver


D) So it was totally within the confines of the law for Jep to redeem his daughter

1)   He could have said I made this Vow – and I am going to now redeem my daughter from this vow – by giving 20 pieces of Silver


E) Knowing that he could have done that – I am certain that he would have done that – especially if it meant he would save her from death


Another thing that I see here is that leads me to believe that he didn’t kill her is the wording in the passage v. 38 , 39

A)She bewails her VIRGINITY – what she sees here is that she isn’t going to Marry – that is how she views the Burnt offering


B) Getting married & having babies was everything to an Israelite woman !!!


C) So she remained a virgin the rest of her life – v.39 she Knew no man –

1)   So that is my take on this whole thing  - Still tragic – but not death


So Jepthah – Our past is not the end – God can use it

A)Our Background is part of our training -  he goes from Zero to Hero


B) Maybe you / Maybe me