Judges 11:30-31, “And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, 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.””
There are two stories in the whole bible that make me sad. They are the story of Jephthah and the story of the Levite and his concubine (Judges 19). The story of Jephthah makes me sad because the motive behind it was pure, but the application was filled with ignorance. Purity and ignorance are a terrible combination, and sadly they are still prevalent today. In Hosea 4:6 the Lord warns us, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge….” Jephthah ended his daughter’s life because of Lack of Knowledge.
If Jephthah knew the law of God, he would have known that God does not like human sacrifice. Human sacrifices were one of the reasons why God destroyed the nations that were in the land before Israel came and overtook it. God values life above all else. Even in the instructions of eating meat, God tells Israel make sure there is no blood in the meat when eating it because blood represents life. Jephthah’s vow highlights the lack of knowledge of God in Israel. The phrase used repeatedly in the book of judges is, ‘there was no king in Israel, so every man did what was right in his own eyes.’ This phrase captures the state of Israel at the time.
The church today might not offer sacrifices, but purity and ignorance still prevail. As a result, we might not kill people physically but might kill their desire to be Christians. The verse in Hosea 4:6 goes on to say, “…because you have rejected knowledge…” If this verse was written today, it would read, “My people suffer for lack of knowledge, because they have neglected Me…,” That is how ignorance prevails, when we neglect to read and study the word of God. So, I encourage you to read and study the bible. Remember what Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15, “…but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…”