Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Hi there, faithful followers! I have opened up my devotional blog one or two days a week, to keep me fresh. We begin today, with Christina Rich's take on the judge Jephthah. We will keep going through the Old Testament, chapter by chapter, book by book, as we have been. 
I would love comments to encourage my guests and to tell me what you think of this new twist.
Our first guest is Christina Rich.

Christina here. I have to tell you I was a bit nervous when I volunteered to write a devotional for Darlene. One, I’ve only written one other, and with no feedback it kind of makes a person wonder, you know? And two, what if I do it wrong and I become the great outcast among the Secret Society of Devotional Writers? Alright, so the only place that particular society exists is in my mind, but the thought of being an outcast is a bit nauseating.
So, how ironic is it that the day I chose to once again try my hand at writing a devotional happens to be the day Judges 11-12 makes an appearance?
“Jephthah the Gildeadite was a mighty warrior. His father was Gilead; his mother was a prostitute. Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. ‘You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,’ they said, ‘because you are the son of another woman.’” (NIV)
Ouch! I can totally relate to this sort of rejection, as I think most of us can in one way or another.
Scripture goes on to tell us that Jephthah fled to another land and gained a following. After all he was a mighty warrior, which was saying something given that Joshua 17 tells us Jephthah’s ancestors were ‘great soldiers’. For scripture to point out that he was a mighty warrior and he came from a line of great soldiers meant he was probably something of an extraordinary soldier. So much so, that those brothers who cast him from his home sought him out when the big, bad Ammonites started pestering them.
A bit ironic, huh?
Well, how about this? Remember what his brothers said? “You are not going to get any inheritance in our family.” Yeah, well guess what? They agreed to make Jephthah the head of all who lived in Gilead if only he’d help them.
Can you think of another man cast from his home by his brothers only for him to rescue them later? That’s right, Joseph.  You want to see something interesting?
Joseph was the father of Manasseh.
Manasseh the father of Makir (the great soldiers)
Makir the father of Gilead
Gilead the father of Jephthah.
Now, I’m going to be honest here. A week ago I had never heard of Jephthah. I dug through a few commentaries, some from Rabbis. Most agreed that Jephthah was insignificant and ignorant of God’s ways. That may have been the case in some instances, which I don’t have enough time to get into here. However, God chose to use Jephthah to deliver the Israelites. God chose to use a man rejected by his family.
“He was despised and rejected by men” Isaiah 53:3
“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes?”
Through the eyes of Jephthah’s brothers he was nothing more than a prostitute’s son. Through the hardened hearts of the Pharisees Jesus was nothing more than a carpenter.
As we reflect on the death and celebrate the resurrection of Christ this Easter Sunday, let us remember that God’s ways are not always our own. His ways are much higher. He may choose to use, and has in fact chosen as testified to in scripture, the outcast, the rejected to bring salvation to another.

About Christina: Christina Rich is a full-time home schooling, domestic engineer who occasionally helps her husband with their upholstery business, which she likens to finding buried treasure when they get to work with antique pieces.
She resides in Northeast Kansas with her husband and four children. She loves Jesus, history, researching her ancestry, fishing, reading, and of course, writing Biblical and Western inspirational romances.
Her debut book, a Biblical romance (title yet to be determined), will be released March 2014 with Love Inspired Historicals.
You can find more about her at 


  1. Welcome Christina!

    I enjoyed your devotional very much and have to confess that until today I hadn't thought much of Jephthah before.

    Blessings to you and your family - you also Darlene. Happy Easter to both of you.


    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Beverly. I learned a lot writing it.

  2. Great job Christina!
    The devotional hits home, We need to look to God and not to man
    and watch what happens
    God bless you
    another Christina

    1. Christina, thank you. I try to always look at God, but sometimes I lose focus.

  3. Great thoughts, Christina. Jesus was also an outcast in his hometown and even in his very own family! They thought he was absolutely crazy. But God accepts and loves us outcasts and misfits and has a purpose for each one. Just look at Jesus' family lineage-prostitutes, non Jews. Oy!