Judges 10:16 And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel. 17 Then the children of Ammon were gathered together, and encamped in Gilead. And the children of Israel assembled themselves together, and encamped in Mizpeh. 18 And the people and princes of Gilead said one to another, What man is he that will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? he shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
Judges 11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. 2 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. 3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.
Hebrews 11:32 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:
Every person and every event within our bibles has been recorded there in order to reveal the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ! We have used the scriptures to establish our brands of religion, and seek out its various segments, assembling them in a fashion convenient for us to prop up our religious tradition. Nothing but the Lord Jesus should be looked for as we open this book, and then all things falling out from Him will be in proper spiritual order! For it is by seeking the Lord that our understanding shall be opened regarding the scriptures!
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
The Old Testament economy dealt in the realm of the physical. The New Testament, or Covenant, deals with the realm of the spiritual. Then eternity shall reveal the glorious. The Hebrew writer instructs us that the Old Testament law had but a shadow of the things to come. Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, And, dear Reader, the Lord Jesus Christ is the light that shined back into that economy revealing the shadowy types of Himself, who was to come. And our brother Jephthah was but one of these personal types set forth to reveal the Eternal Son of God!
The name Jephthah comes from a Hebrew word translated in Genesis 7:11 as, were opened. And we find that our Lord used this word in the healing of the dumb man who also had a speech impediment in Mark 7:34. And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.
During four hundred years of silence from God between Malachi and Matthew the heavens were closed, as far as revelation from God. The last law word was curse (Mal. 4:6). And the first revelation of God in the New Economy was, Fear not, as the angel spoke to Zacharias upon the announcement of John the Baptist’s conception. (Luke 1:13). And just who was the spiritual Jephthah that caused the heavens to be “opened” again? Just who was it that would speak peace to mankind again and deal with that “curse” of the law?
It was none other than our Heavenly Jephthah who opened up to us the true, spiritual way back to God! Matt. 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
He is Jacob’s ladder! John 1:50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. For like a ladder, as very man, the Lord Jesus is firmly set on the ground. And as very God he is firmly extended to the eternal heavens. John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
And he is THE way. He is THE truth. He alone is THE life! And no man can come to the Father except by him! (John 14:6). He alone is THE Mediator between God and man! (1Tim. 2:5).
In his Revelation to John on Patmos he clearly established that he alone as Sovereign Lord opens the way to God. Rev. 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
And, like John, all those to whom he opens the spiritual entrance unto the heavenly realm see him as Lord upon the throne! For there is no salvation without Lordship! For one must call upon the name of the Lord in order to be saved! (Rom. 10:13). Rev. 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
For only those thus birthed by the sovereign Lord have entrance into his kingdom of grace! John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Despised and Rejected
We notice that it was exclusively said to be the sons of Gilead who threw Jephthah out. The father of them both is not mentioned as trying to prevent this at all. And we read of our Heavenly Jephthah, Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (Isa. 53:10).
Our Lord even petitioned the Father, with sweat as great drops of blood, that if it were possible, to let this cup pass from him. But there was no intervention! For he was prepared as a Lamb for the slaughter from the foundation of the world! (Rev. 13:8).
So our Lord, as this Jephthah, was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isa. 53:3). But the one that was thus cast out and so evilly treated, God made the Deliverer and Ruler over all! Matt. 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
The Enemies Encampment
Did you notice where the scriptures state that the enemies of Israel were encamped in Judges 10:17, listed above? They were camped in Gilead! And according to verse eight they had from there, vexed the children of Israel for eighteen years! Then the first verse of chapter eleven clearly sets forth to us that Jephthah is the Gileadite. This verse also sets forth to us that Gilead was the place of Jephthah’s home, and also the name of his father!
And it is also at the point of our only provided Deliverer, and the Father who he represents that sin, as our enemy resides! For all “sins” are derived in out rejection of the Son of God, who is one with the Father! (John 10:30). The Psalmist David well knew where his sin lay! He fully realized that which was the root of his sin against Uriah, regarding his wife Bathsheba. It was his rebellion against the Person of God! Psalm 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
One of the main reasons that the American church is filled with an unregenerate membership is that we have a wrongful concept of sin! If our preachers don’t start preaching against sin as an offense against the person and holiness of God we will never have the Spirit’s blessing upon us! Listen at the greatest of all Preachers on this matter: John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
The pulpits in our day seem to be more concerned with getting the pew to vote according to their political persuasions than rightly dividing the word of truth! They condemn those attending the reading of their editorials for every kind of personal agenda. And sin, if mentioned at all, is usually just an infraction against some insisted upon rule of that system. But again, listen to the Lord Jesus Christ concerning the reality of condemnation: John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
The point of our rebellion; the point of Satan’s affront upon us, is provided by our wrongful relationship to the Person of God! We must be brought back to owning personal sin exacted upon a personal God!
God’s instruction is for us to come to him personally for restoration from our offenses! Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; Matt. 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Just yesterday I heard a man who had been in church for several decades, part of that time as a Bible teacher, speaking of ‘winning souls to Christ.’ He said, “Like good salesmen we must learn to close the deal!” My soul! We’re not trying to ‘win’ men to our product, nor to our brand of religion! Our Lord Jesus warned of this! Matt. 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
We need to become realized, confessed sinners ourselves, preaching to sinners that they need to flee from the wrath to come, and not just that they should flee to our brand of religion! It seems that we only believe in total depravity as a doctrine in our heads! For among us few seem to believe in our hearts that we, ourselves, are sinners! If we don’t get rid of this, “them” and “us” attitude, that is, that “they” are sinners because they are not in our little religious clique, and “we” are without need of continued repentance, we are never again going to have the spirit of glory and of God to rest on us! That “all” is still in the scriptures concerning who has sinned and come short of God’s glory!
Balm in Gilead
Jeremiah asks, Is there no balm in Gilead? (Jer. 8:22). For this region was noted for is supply of sweet spices and healing balms. And as we see in our passages, Gilead was both the place of the enemies assault and of the Deliverer’s provision.
And this we see also in the account of Joseph’s being sold by his brothers to the Ishmeelites who came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going down to Egypt. (Gen. 37:25) So with the receiving of the balms of Gilead, Egypt also received the slave, Joseph, who was sent by God (Psa. 105:17) to deal with the coming world wide famine! The Ismeelites brought both the balm for healing, and the Suffering Servant who would provide himself as the Bread of life for all who hungered for him, as he ‘opened up’ the storehouses of grain when the famine struck so severely!
Dear Reader, we are never to be the servants of sin! (Romans 6:6). But it is by the acknowledgement of your sin that you will find the Savior of sinners! Rom. 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
One of the things that the religionists besmeared our Lord with, but which he wore as a badge of honor was that he was a friend of publicans and sinners! (Luke 7:34). But to those religionists who refuse to own themselves as sinners, they have no Savior!
Pastor Gene Breed
July 28, 2012