“Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the Lord at Mizpah.”Judges 11:11
Have you been thinking to yourself as you read these devotionals:
- “Leaving a legacy that lasts is a GREAT idea, but how do I START?”
- “I’m too old, and most of my life has passed me by.”
- “I’m too young, and I don’t have the experience.”
- “I don’t have enough money to make a difference.”
- “I have so much money that I’m not sure where to invest it.”
- “My kids take up too much of my time, and my job is too demanding to make room for anything else.”
Sometimes we get so concerned with how to begin that we give up before we even get started.
Late in the chapter of Hebrews 11, the author begins to list some names in rapid-fire succession in an effort to drive home the point that there are many people in Scripture who exhibit faith from which we can learn. Gideon! Samson! David! Samuel! Jephthah! Wait…Who-thah?!
If we look all the way back in Judges 11, we see that Jephthah was the ninth judge over God’s people. Jephthah was quickly disregarded and driven away by his family, so he went to live as a stranger in a strange land. Several years later, Israel was getting picked on by another people group and, oddly enough, Israel came calling for Jephthah.
We are not given any specifics as to why they chose Jephthah, but they did. Know this: these are the people who abandoned Jephthah because he was “born of another woman,” but when the going got tough, Israel got Jephthah (Judges 11:2). There must have been something about Jephthah that drew people to him. Or, there’s another theory.
I believe there is a possibility that Jephthah may have been the only person willing and available. Not able, available. I know, it sounds simple, but hear me out. You have heard the old saying, “God uses availability over ability.” Don’t believe this to be an option? Check out this Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11! It is packed with people who were low on the Ability Chart but high on the Availability Chart. When God presents an opportunity, He is not interested in hearing your resume. He is interested in hearing one thing from you: YES!
God went on to use Jephthah, a reject who did not belong to his family, to deliver Israel from the sons of Ammon. The rest of the story of Jephthah is worth the read to hear of his faithfulness to God and the courage of his daughter. Here is the bottom line: To leave a legacy, you have to start somewhere, no matter your circumstance. How do you start? Make yourself available to God, and He will put you to use!