Foolish Decisions Redeemed
We often beat ourselves up because we make foolish decisions. It’s true that we ought not be proud of the stupid stuff we decide to do; however, the Bible helps us gain some perspective regarding those times when we blow it.
Judges chapter 11 relates the story of Jephthah. Although he was “a mighty man of valor,” his parentage caused him to be looked down upon. He was the son of a harlot, and the sons of his father’s wife “drove Jephthah out, and said to him, “You shall have no inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman” Judges 11:2 (NKJ). Being well aware that his well-being was in danger, Jephthah packed up and got out of Dodge. When he settled into his new digs in the land of Tob, he started using his might for evil, and “worthless men banded together with Jephthah and went out raiding with him” Judges 11:3.
As usual, what goes around comes around, and in the process of time, Jephthah’s brothers found themselves facing some folks who wanted to war against them. They needed the help of a mighty man of valor and happened to know one: Jephthah. When they approached him, Jephthah said, “Did you not hate me, and expel me from my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?” The elders answered, “That is why we have turned again to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the people of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead” Judges 11:7-8. Jephthah accepted their rather weak apology and went on to lead them to victory.
Several foolish decisions were made in this story. First, Jephthah’s brothers never should have kicked him out in the first place. All children are gifts from God and it’s not our place to punish a child because of how that child came into the world. Second, when he moved away, Jephthah’s choice of vocation and friends was foolish. Scripture clearly states that he was a mighty man of valor, yet he chose for a time to misuse his strength by raiding instead of aiding in his new land. Our strengths are gifts to us from God and ought only to be used for His glory.
Regardless of the foolish decisions that were made by both parties, the smart and gracious decision to reconcile led to victory. Jephthah returned to his home and “the people made him head and commander over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the Lord in Mizpah” Judges 11:11. Then after negotiations failed with the enemy, “Jephthah advanced toward the people of Ammon to fight against them, and the Lord delivered them into his hands. And he defeated them from Aroer as far as Minnith—twenty cities—and to Abel Keramim,[a] with a very great slaughter. Thus the people of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel” Judges 11:32-33.
God can and will still bless us after we’ve made foolish decisions when we turn back to Him. This knowledge, however, should not make us careless. Every foolish decision has its consequences that could result in severe physical, emotional, and psychological harm. Still know that as imperfect people, we will mess up, but we can be thankful that all our foolish decisions are neither fatal nor final. Worship God today for being the Redeemer, not only of our souls, but also of our stupidity.
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children
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Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame
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