Overcoming Our Past
"Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah." Judges
We've all heard stories of individuals who have
overcome extreme hardship during their childhood years.
Children of alcoholics, orphans who never have parents, loss
of parents to a fatal crash, childhood disease. These are
all difficult circumstances to overcome.
Jephthah was a man who overcame his obstacles and
refused to allow his circumstances to prevent him from
becoming great in God's sight. He was born to
Gilead, a result of his father's adulterous
encounter with a prostitute. Gilead's wife, who had bore
more sons, decided to reject Jephthah, and drove him away
from their home saying, "You are not going to get any
inheritance in our family because you are the son of another
woman." Imagine the rejection this young man felt as he was
cast away from his own family.
This experience taught Jephthah to become a hardened
warrior. Today he probably would have been part of a street
gang. As he got older, his reputation as a warrior became
known to those in his country, so much so that when the
Ammonites made war on Israel, the elders of Gilead went to
Jephthah and asked him to be their commander. Jephthah had
to fight off those feelings of rejection from previous
"Didn't you hate me and drive me from my father's
house?" he responded. He overcame his hurt and pain, and
responded to the call God had on his life.
It is said that if we were to help the butterfly
remove itself from the cocoon, the butterfly would not be
strong enough to survive. It is the struggle that prepares
the butterfly to become strong enough to fly. Without the
struggle in the cocoon, it could not survive as a butterfly.
The Lord prepares each of us in similar ways. Some
of our childhoods seem to have been harsh and born from a
seemingly unloving God. However, the Lord knows our struggle
and will make our life an instrument in His hand if we will
follow Him with an upright heart. He does make all things
beautiful in His time if we are willing to be patient.
PRAYER: "Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for all the
benefits which you have given us; for all the pains and
insults which you have borne for us. O most merciful
redeemer, friend, and brother, may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly."
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