In the first year of my marriage, my husband and I were remodeling our home and needed a qualified electrician. My co-worker suggested Steve, she said he didn’t talk very much, but he did excellent work, quickly, and he was certified. I hired him, but insisted on agreed upon prayer before he began his work. He, my husband and I would begin with prayer for him, his family and the work he was doing on our home. We did this every morning for three days.
During the afternoon of the third day, my husband came into my home office with Steve in tow. He told me that Steve had something he wanted to say to me. Steve looked at me and said “I am the father of one adopted boy, and I deeply love him. I’m here to take care of him and protect him from all harm. That brings me to the problem I have with your GOD, how could a loving GOD sacrifice HIS only SON? And furthermore, how could he let a father make a rash vow to sacrifice his only child? And then how could he actually accept that sacrifice??? Until you can give me a good answer to these three questions, I have a hard time believing in or even trusting a GOD like that. And I would prefer not to pray to HIM with you guys.” Steve then promptly turned and walked off.
I began to earnestly pray, “My Beloved ABBA FATHER, I know that it is not YOUR will for anyone to perish, and YOU have brought this man to our home who is rejecting YOU, because he does not know YOU and he does not understand YOUR WORD. Please give me the answers to his three questions, for his soul depends on them. I pray this in our Beloved JESUS CHRIST NAME, amen.”
These are the answers my Beloved LORD GOD gave me for Steve’s three questions:
How could a loving GOD sacrifice HIS only SON? My Beloved ABBA FATHER answered this question as follows:
- The redemption of man’s soul is costly (Psa 49:7-8). Redemption is forgiveness of sins (Col 1:14) and/or deliverance from sin and its penalties‒death (Rom 6:23) and destruction (2 Thes 1:8-9). There was nothing in this world that could redeem man’s soul, not the strength of sinful man and not his riches (Job 36:19, 1 Pet 1:18).
- Only a man who never sinned, a perfect man (2 Cor 5:21, 1 Pet 2:21-22, 1 Jhn 3:5) could redeem us from the curse of The LAW (Gal 3:13, 1 Pet 1:19). But since every man living on the earth are descendants of the first Adam who fell, none were perfect. So our merciful GOD created a second Adam, perfect, sinless, able to redeem mankind. HE created JESUS CHRIST (1 Cor 15:12-21).
- GOD is not man, HIS thoughts are not man’s thoughts; neither are the ways of GOD the ways of man (Isa 55:8-9). If you don’t know HIM, you will not understand HIS WORD or know HIS WAYS (Exd 33:13, Psa 25:4-5). In JESUS own WORDS:
All things have been handed over to ME by MY FATHER, and no one knows WHO THE SON is except THE FATHER, and WHO THE FATHER is except THE SON, and anyone to whom The SON wills to reveal HIM.” Luke 10:22
- Stop judging the ways of a GOD you do not know, and seek to know The SON WHO willing sacrificed HIS life for yours (Jhn 10:17-18). And until you accept the sacrifice of JESUS CHRIST, you will never know:
GOD became a Man (Mat 1:18-23, Jhn 1:1, Jhn 1:14, Jhn 8:58)
The SHEPHERD became The LAMB (Act 20:28, Jhn 1:29, 1 Pet 1:19)
The CREATOR became The Created (Luk 1:26-35, Col 1:15-20)
How could GOD accept Jephthah’s vow to sacrifice his daughter? To know the answer to this question, you would need to know four things. One, as previously mentioned, you would have to know GOD, to know HIS WAYS. Two, you would need some insight into Jephthah to understand his vow. Three, you would need to go to the original language to confirm translation. And four, you would need to notice what Jephthah’s daughter was mourning at the news of her Father’s vow.
First, if you knew our GOD you would know:
- HE forbade child sacrifice (Lev 18:21)
- HE commanded that any Israelite who did it, would be put to death (Lev 20:1-5)
- Child sacrifice never entered HIS Mind (Jer 19:4-6, Jer 32:33-35)
- Those who engaged in this despicable practice, were sacrificing their children to demons rather than GOD (Psa 106:37-38)
- Only animals from the herd (Lev 1:3), the flock (Lev 1:10), or birds (Lev 1:14) were acceptable burnt offerings
- Burnt offerings could only be offered in places chosen by The LORD HIMSELF (Deu 12:13)
- He did not make rash statements, he knew the seriousness of making a vow, or giving his word to The LORD GOD (Jud 11:11, Jud 11:35-36)
- He knew GOD’s WORD as demonstrated, during his conversation with the King of Ammon (Jud 11:12-27)
- He was mentioned by Samuel as a deliverer to Israel (1 Sam 12:11)
- He is listed among the faithful in the hall of fame of Faith (Heb 11:32)
Third, according to Hebrew scholars, Jephthah’s vow is as follows:wªhaayaah la-YAHWEH, wªhaʻªliytihuw ʻowlaah The most accurate translation of this vow from Hebrew to English, is this:
“I will consecrate it to The LORD, or I will offer it for a burnt-offering”“If it be a thing fit for a burnt-offering, it shall be made one;
if fit for the service of GOD, it shall be consecrated to HIM.”
In 1862, Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) BIBLE was published. It is an extremely literal translation that attempted to preserve the tense and word usage as found in the original Hebrew and Greek writings when translating The BIBLE into English. YLT translated Judges 11:31 as follows, confirming the position of the Hebrew scholars for this passage:
then it hath been, that which at all cometh out from the doors of my house to meet me in my turning back in peace from the Bene-Ammon — it hath been to Jehovah, or I have offered up for it — a burnt-offering.’
Fourth, Jephthah’s daughter did not request permission to go and mourn for her life, she requested to mourn for her virginity (Jud 11:37-39). She would never intimately know a man (Jud 11:39), and therefore she would never marry and have children. She knew that her life being wholly consecrated to The LORD GOD, would be a life with no distraction of her devotion. She would not struggle with trying to please both The LORD GOD and a husband (1 Cor 7:32-33). She knew that as an unmarried virgin, she would be holy in both body and spirit, concerned solely about the things of The LORD (1 Cor 7:34-35).
How could GOD even let Jephthah give such a ridiculous vow? We will answer this question in two parts:
- Without any knowledge of Jephthah or the text of that verse in its original language, it would appear rash or ridiculous. But as demonstrated in question 2, his vow was neither rash nor ridiculous.
- Our Beloved LORD GOD has given man free will (the freedom of the will to choose a course of action without external coercion), but with that free will comes responsibility and consequence. We are held responsible for the words we speak (Mat 12:36-37). So our Beloved LORD GOD warns us about how we speak (Psa 19:14, Ecc 5:1-7, Mat 5:33-37, Jam 3:2-12), how much we speak (Prv 10:19, Prv 17:27, Jam 1:19) and the manner in which we speak (Eph 4:29-30, Eph 5:4, Col 3:8, Col 4:6). A vow is a promise either made directly to or in the presence of our Beloved LORD GOD. Sinners make false vows, promises they don’t keep (Prv 15:2, Ecc 10:14), but the Righteous keep their vows even if it means harm to themselves (Psa 15:1-5, Psa 24:3-5).
I shared these answers with Steve, and though he didn’t make a commitment to Salvation, he did let us continue to pray with him on the project until completion.