Judges 11:3 – Then Jephthah fled from his brothers, and lived in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain fellows to Jephthah, and they went out with him.
True leaders shine in any situation. Jephthah had been disinherited from his family and had taken up residence in a place called Tob. And in this place, ‘vain fellows’ – those who were outcasts of society and deemed as worthless – gathered to him, and he made them into an army.
The same thing happened with David – on the run from Saul, those who were distressed, discontent or in debt found their way to him and he became their leader. He fed them, clothed them, and gave them dignity.
Great leaders don’t complain about those who are around them – instead they build them up and inspire them to greatness!
Judges 1:26 – The man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called the name of it Luz, which is the name of it to this day.
In the time of possessing the land, the Israelites came against the city of Luz. The instructions from the Lord were to destroy both it and its inhabitants completely. But the entrance to the Luz was hidden. So the Israelites found a man of the town and promised to treat him kindly if he showed them how to get in. Thus, when they took the city, this one man was spared his life.
But see what happens when we fail to obey the command of God – the very man that they spared went to another part of the land, and rebuilt Luz! So the Israelites had to deal with it a second time, because they failed to deal with it properly the first time.
In walking out the will of God for our lives, we can sometimes take shortcuts, thinking we’re helping the process. But inevitably, the shortcuts we take will end up coming back to haunt us. Even when it seems like you’re going the long way around – the Lord always has a reason! Trust Him!
Judges 11:1 – Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, and he was the son of a prostitute: and Gilead became the father of Jephthah.
Jephthah was a man with a label – he was the son of a prostitute. As a result, his brothers drove him away from the family. Yet, the gift of God was upon him, and in their time of need, the family returned to him – begging him to lead them in battle against the Ammonites who were troubling them.
God is no respecter of human classes and social etiquette. He will use who He wants – and more times than not, He turns to the outcast and works through them.
God used this man who was an embarrassment and rejected by his family – to help set them free.
Your past is not an indication of your future. The trouble that lies behind only serves to help create a greater testimony for God when He moves through your life!