Morning by Morning, February 2 - From Rejection to Redemption
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Rule and reign in the authority of Your name, here in my heart and every moment of my day. ...
"Now Jephthah the Gileadite, the son of a prostitute, was a mighty warrior" (Judges 11:1).
You created Jephthah with calling and purpose and destiny. As with all Your sons and daughters, his life was in Your hands and his future was in Your plans "before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4). One day Your Spirit would come upon him and he would be Your mighty warrior to deliver Your people from the oppression of their enemies (Judges 11:29, 33). Like each of the judges before Israel had a king, he was an imperfect, but prophetic picture of the One who could come to deliver us from the oppression of our spiritual enemies -- our righteous Judge, our mighty Deliverer, our merciful Savior (1 John 3:8; Ephesians 6:12).
But at the same time, Jephthah as also born into some battles he would have to face. He was conceived in sin and would grow up in shame, under the burden of rejection from his own family and community (Judges 11:2). He would finally be driven out and run away to surround himself with the wrong crowd and even come to lead them, when his rejection turned to rebellion (Judges 11:3). Even then, his God-given gifts of leadership and tenacity would cause him to rise to the top and lead others into victories, no matter the circles he travelled in or the circumstances he found himself in -- "for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" (Romans 11:29).
There would come a time when Jephthah's family and community would have to humble themselves to ask him for help and he would have an opportunity to humble himself to forgive them and accept (Judges 11:4-11). Humility was the key to his community's deliverance and humility was the key to his restoration, redemption, and vindication. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:10 NKJ).
Like Jephthah, You've created all of us with purpose and calling and destiny, but You've not placed any of us in the setting of a perfect life, full of perfect people. Instead, we live in a broken, fallen world; and we are surrounded by broken, fallen people. We all need Jesus -- our Deliverer -- who comes to heal our brokenness and forgive our fallen-ness, who comes to rescue us in the fullness of life in Him from the oppression of the enemy of our souls coming "to steal, and to kill, and to destroy" (John 10:10). But as we entrust ourselves to You, our enemy will never have the last word over our identity or our destiny, as You cause "all things (to) work together for good for those who love (You), who are called according to (Your) purpose" (Romans 8:28).
You know my battles and my burdens, Lord. Give me humility and grace to turn to You and remember who You say that I am. I am what You have made me, "created in Christ Jesus for good works, which (You) have prepared beforehand to be (my) way of life" (Ephesians 2:10). Nothing will separate me from Your love (Romans 8:38-39). "No, in all these things (I am) more than (a) conqueror through Him who loved (me)" (Romans 8:37). And by the power of the grace of God, in the power of the Spirit of God, alive and at work within me, I will be confident in my identity and fulfill my destiny. He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.