Despite Your Unjust Circumstances
Have you suffered lately as a result of other men's decisions and not because of anything that you have done? If you are suffering from unfair rejection from others, don't be disheartened. Don't play the Blame Game. Just know that God has a plan, and you have a major role in it.
If there is anyone who knows what rejection is all about, it is a man by the name of Jephthah. He is mentioned several times throughout the Scriptures, especially in Judges 11. He is listed in the classic Faith chapter - Hebrews 11 - along with some of God's other "great men" -
Hebrews 11:32-34 - "And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness weremade strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens."
Jephthah was indeed a man "who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness... escaped the edge of the sword...waxed valiant in fight" and "turned to flight the armies of the aliens."
If there ever was a man who "out of weakness" was "made strong," it was him!
Judges 11:1 says this of him - "Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor..."
But we see that this verse does not end here for there is an added note given by the Holy Spirit that Jephthah also was "the son of an harlot."
His mother was a "strange woman," meaning a Gentile or an Ishmaelite. She was neither his father's wife nor his concubine. She happened to be a tavern keeper.
Judges 11:2 informs us that Gilead, Jephthah's father, had a wife who bare him legitimate sons who unanimously disdained Jephthah - "And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman."
Judges 11:3 - Not able to bear the abuse from his own brethren any longer, he fled to a place north of Gilead called Tob where his mother's family resided - "Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob..."
Here we have a young man who did no crime to deserve such utter rejection from his brothers. He just happened to be born wrong - as the "son of a harlot."
I wonder how many Jephthah's there are in the Body of Christ today.
You ask - Who are they? They are the ones who don't appear promising. They may have a physical impairment, be struggling financially, or lack charisma, good looks, or education. Or they may have some "albatross" from their past that people can't seem to drop - it seems to follow them wherever they go. They are considered by many as "low-life's" or "worms."
Painfully, they have struggled through years of one rejection after another - not due to any wrongdoing of their own - but simply because they were born on the "wrong side of the tracks," so to speak.
If this fits your description, then the Holy Spirit wants to encourage you today because God has a plan with your name on it. Using all of your adverse circumstances, He is preparing you and building you up for greatness.
The Scriptures seem to confirm that many of God's mighty men or women were cast aside by their brethren. Look at Moses, Joseph, David, Paul, and even the Lord Jesus. All suffered rejection from their very own brethren. However, in looking back over their lives and in seeing how God used each one, we see that it was a necessary conflict to undergo in order to prepare them for the task ahead.
If you have suffered mistreatment from those who should have loved, received, and accepted you; then be encouraged. Don't allow the enemy of your soul to plant bitterness in your heart. They may have intended it for evil, but God will turn everything around for your good.
God has a plan for greatness with you in mind. Yes, he does! He is the Master Potter, and He is molding and shaping you after His will, using all of your circumstances - both good and bad - to attain the goal!
Perhaps there are some of you who have acted like Jephthah's half brothers. You are guilty of rejecting another brother or sister simply because they did not come "wrapped in the right package." You may have prayed for help or deliverance of some sort, and God answered by sending you a Jephthah. But you did not receive this individual or individuals because they did not come speaking what you wanted to hear or in a manner that you expected. Consequently, you totally rejected them. You cast them out of your company.
Nonetheless, if God has a plan, no devil or man is going to hinder it or stop it for too long.
The Scriptures tell us that even though Jephthah was not appreciated by his own brethren, someone did recognize his leadership qualities.
Judges 11:3 says - "...and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him."
These "vain men" were poor - without jobs or property - and destitute of any good sense. Some commentaries say that they were immoral and even robbers.
Here was a man ordained by God to be a judge and deliverer of Israel. What was he doing leading this crowd? He definitely was not in the will of God amidst these rabble rousers.
Yet, even though Jephthah was out of the will of God for a time, God was still working behind the scenes. Even from his mother's womb, He had placed a calling on his life to accomplish a stupendous task, and He would see to it that it would be played out according to His Will.
Let's learn from Jephthah's example. We must take warning here. We must not allow other's ill-treatment to drive us from our God-given inheritance. By the grace of God, if we will endure, He will be faithful to work out His plan for our lives.
The Lord God ordained Jephthah to be a judge and deliverer for Israel. He was born the "son of a harlot," thrust out of his Father's house by his own brethren, and then exiled to a pagan land. Does this sound like the makings of a great leader to you? Where is God in all of this? Has He forgotten Jephthah?
No, not at all! In His Sovereign Providence, He orchestrated circumstances to bring about His design and plan.
Judges 11:4 says - "And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel."
Note five very important words here - "came to pass," "process," and "time."
Jephthah's rejection would not last forever. The Scriptures tell us that it "came to pass."
The Word of God also mentions the word "process." Isn't it evident that his life had been going through a "process" of some sort? He was on a divine course. God was at work.
And, last but not least, if there is anything that is extremely important in God's schedule, it is timing.
God stirred up the enemies of Ammon to come against Israel who was not living wholly for Him. As a result of their disobedience, these Ammonites were given place to attack them.
In their weakened state due to sin, Israel would need help, a leader, and a deliverer - "a mighty man of valor."
Who would be such a candidate?
Judges 11:5-6 tells us - "And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob. And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon."
Wait a minute! These Israelites are coming to the "son of a harlot" and asking him to be their "captain"? Isn't this a turn of events? At one time, they thrust him out of their company, but now when they are "in distress," they don't seem to mind that his mother was a whore.
Wow! Does God have a sense of humor, or what? He surely knows how to make men eat "humble pie," doesn't he?
Judges 11:7-8 goes on to say - "And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress? And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead."
These same brothers who hated Jephthah and expelled him from his father's house are now pleading with him to be their "head over all the inhabitants of Gilead"? And all because of one word - "distress."
Oh, wounded Christian! Take heart to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you through this message today. God knows the right kind of "distress" to send those people who rejected you and cast you from their company. The very ones who thrust you out of your inheritance will come running to you in "process of time" and look to you to be their "head." You will not always be considered as the "tail." This too shall pass! God will raise you up.
He is working out His plan for your life. He is working even right now. Just trust Him. Simply be still and know that He is God! He has everything under control!
He certainly knows how to bring a man down. He knows how to deal with Pride.
Judges 11:9-10 reflects the beautiful spirit of humility displayed by Jephthah's rejectors after God worked on them - "And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the Lord deliver them before me, shall I be your head? And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to Thy words."
Judges 11:11 - We then read the happy ending of the "process of time" that "came to pass" in his life - "Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh."
In spite of his adverse circumstances whereby his own brethren abandoned him and cast him from their company, Jephthah never forsook the Lord. As soon as he was elevated to the position of "head and captain," he immediately prayed to the Lord for wisdom and help.
He knew that God called him to such a time as this.
He knew that God orchestrated circumstances to bring about his calling.
And he knew that without God's help and grace, he could not accomplish the task ahead of him.
His adverse circumstances worked such good in his life, bringing him to the place of being a godly and "mighty man of valor" for the Lord and His people.
There are so many lessons that we can learn from his experience.
One is that God has a "process" that every one who is called to leadership must go through. In many instances, one will be called upon to suffer rejection and total misunderstanding by his very own brethren.
O Child of God! People may reject you today for different reasons, but if you will hold onto the promises of God and not let go of the vision He has given you, He will be sure to work out His plan for your life. The same people who are rejecting you today will one day come to you, pleading for your gifts, talents, and help. Face your adversities in a spirit of meekness, knowing that God is in control and will bring to pass all that He has spoken for your life.
Secondly, we must be very careful that we do not allow a spirit of pride to grip our hearts whereby we despise or trample upon the Jephthah's whom God sends us. Our Heavenly Father will not stand for any pride in His children. He knows how to abase us if we exalt ourselves above others. He knows the exact "distress" to send our way to bring us down from our high place. The very people whom we reject today may be the very people whom we will need tomorrow. Let's be careful how we treat each other as brethren, not despising any one.
God used Jephthah despite his brother's rejection.
He is no respecter of persons.
He will use you, too, in a mighty way.
He is working out His plan for your life even now.
Things will not always be this way.
In the"process of time," the tables will be turned.
You won't be the"tail;" you'll be the "head."
And when God promotes you, no one will be able to thrust you out of your inheritance.
May God Bless His Word.
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Duncanville, TX. 75138-3016
Copyright 2002© by Connie Giordano