- Judges 11:34-40 (NKJV)
The Burnt Offering
The process for burnt offerings is described in Leviticus 1:2-17. Although there are variances in the process depending upon the type of animal sacrificed, the outcome for the sacrifice is the same. God calls for a male animal to be sacrificed (Lev. 1:2). The animal would be slaughtered and burned up in a fire.
Jephthah’s Foolish Decision
Some may say that because Jephthah made this vow or promise and therefore was obligated to keep the vow (Deuteronomy 23:21). I do believe that the Bible tells us to keep our promises. Jephthah should have never made this vow (Ecc. 5:5). But even when he does, I believe he has a way out of it.
God never intends for anyone making an evil vow to keep it. For God to do so would mean an endorsement of evil by God. Some Scripture to back up my submission comes from Matthew 21:28-32. In this parable, Jesus tells of two sons who respond to their father’s command to work. One son responds positively that he will work and the second states that he will not go to work. Jesus says that the son who said that he will not go changes his mind and goes to work. The son broke the father’s command but when he did not fulfill his commitment by obeying, he did the right thing.
If you have made a commitment to do something evil, failing to keep that commitment is a good thing. Jephthah should have done the same and repented of his sin. God desires mercy and not sacrifice (Matthew 9:9-13; 12:1-8).
One of the signs of a sick society is a lack of wisdom. Wisdom is that ability to understand and correctly apply what is right and true. I believe that for Israel, the time recorded in Judges is a time during which people failed to be wise. Jephthah seems to understand the truth of God giving victory in battle and that God commands worship. What Jephthah fails to do is to correctly apply these truths of God. Incorrect application of truth leads to folly.
God’s people must show the world God’s truth. The church must also display correct application of God’s truth.
- Pastor Randy
 a foolish action, practice, idea, etc.; absurdity: the folly of performing without a rehearsal. (Dictionary.com)
 If the offering was a turtledove or pigeon, God does not specify whether the sacrifice should be male.