Judge Jephthah found himself between a rock and a hard place by making an irrevocable vow to God. He promised to offer an important sacrifice to God if he would help him to overcome his enemies. Jephthah said,
“Whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering” (Judges 11:31).
Meanwhile, God answered Jephthah’s prayer, but it was her only child who came to welcome him at his doorpost – which signified that he has to offer her as a sacrifice to God. (Please note: This type of sacrifice is no more relevant in this present age!).
The scripture reported,
“When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the Lord, and I cannot go back on it.” So she said to him, “My father, if you have given your word to the Lord, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, because the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the people of Ammon” (Judges 11:34-36).
However, Jephthah decided to keep his promise, despite the magnitude of the cost. He honored God and he offered his only daughter to him.
God deserves to be respected at all times. We must respect him, and we must keep our promises to him. Meanwhile, we must realize that we cannot be rash in our promises. We must be careful not to make ambiguous promises when we are in the presence of God.
We must weigh our words, and we should consider their magnitudes – since God does not respect jokes! He will not hesitate to register our promises, and he will ask them to be fulfilled at all costs. He will continuously ask for his rights until they are fulfilled! Therefore, we should be careful not to make empty promises to God. Meanwhile, God will bless anyone who duly fulfills his promises, and he will ensure that the fellow has more reasons to make more promises in the future.
Dear God, please help me to respect you in words and actions. Let me fulfill my promises to you. Let the fulfillment of my promises open new doors of opportunity in my life, and let me enjoy your goodness in the land of the living. For in the name of Jesus Christ I make my requests. Amen.