A VOW AND A MEMORIAL

Judges 11:35, 39 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh! My daughter! You have made me miserable and wretched, because I have make a VOW to the Lord that I cannot break. After two months, she returned to her father and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a VIRGIN.

Did it have to end up so tragically, you may wonder just like I do. Let’s go back to the storyline in Judges 11. Here is Jephthah, the Gileadite who is a might warrior. Israel’s enemies, the Ammonites are causing them some trouble. Inevitably, they have to go for war. Jephthah heeds the call of duty…and advances on the frontline. But before things get too thick and messy, Jephthah quickly makes a vow unto the Lord, “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in truimph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” And the rest is history. His daughter was the first one to meet him at the door and consequently, she had to die UNMARRIED.

Suppose Jephthah lived in our days? The news headlines would probably read like this:

A RELIGIOUS FANATICAL KILLS DAUGHTER TO APPEASE HIS GOD

The experts would be called to analyse the situation. The public opinion would be sought to try to cub down on religious fanatism. And the lawmakers will be working behind the scenes to make amendments on laws on religious freedom. But whatever the case, Jephthah nonetheless did fulfill his vow to the Lord. Had he thought the matter more carefully, he would have perhaps specified the ‘whatever’ by naming an animal. But he didn’t, and it was too late for such thoughts. The ‘whatever’ happened to be HIS OWN DAUGHTER.

For you as a single person, you might find yourself today in the same place as Jephtath’s daughter. You desire to get married, but other circumstances beyond you seem to work against you. You pray, you fast, you go for the singles conferences or whatever else to increase the possibility of meeting your second half. But still nothing happens. While it is true, you may be single by choice or my circumstances beyond you…one thing is for sure: this is the Lord’s promise for the singles Isaiah 56:4-5 For this is what the Lord says:
“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast my covenant to them I will give within my temple and its walls A MEMORIAL and A NAME better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.

Despite the hurried vows of Jephthah, to this day in Israel, each year young women go out for four days to COMMEMORATE the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite. The Lord is still faithful to His promise. He desires to make your name great even in YOUR SINGLEHOOD.

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