11 The Lord replied, “When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you and you cried to Me for help, did I not save you from their hands? 13 But you have forsaken Me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!”
Monday we discovered
6 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served Him, 7 He became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, 8 who that year shattered and crushed them. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites on the east side of the Jordan in Gilead, the land of the Amorites. 9 The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim; Israel was in great distress. 10 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, “We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.”
Then we see just how angry God was with them today. He will no longer save them, telling them Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble! Still the Israelites did not give up, they continued to cry out to the saying
5 …“We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.” 16 Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the Lord. And He could bear Israel’s misery no longer.
Here we see God’s true character as abounding in love and forgiveness as David said in Psalm 86:5
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Knowing the Lord ‘s mercy and love was upon them
17 When the Ammonites were called to arms and camped in Gilead, the Israelites assembled and camped at Mizpah. 18 The leaders of the people of Gilead said to each other, “Whoever will take the lead in attacking the Ammonites will be head over all who live in Gilead.”
In chapter 11 we find an outcast (the son of Gilead and a prostitute) Jephthah the Gileadite who was a mighty warrior was chosen as the commander of Gilead’s forces to fight the Ammonites. Jephthah sent messages to the king of the Ammonites to see if all could be settled peaceably. It could not due to their history during the exodus from Egypt. It was for naught so it was to be war.
29 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”
Sadly when they returned in victory it was Jephthah’s daughter that first came out of his door. He kept his word to the Lord and after granting his daughter 2 months did to her as he had vowed.
From this comes the Israelite tradition 40 that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.
A lesson on making rash vows to the Lord before thinking them through. Be careful on what you vow when speaking with God. Tomorrow we will find Jephthah’s battles are not yet over as well.