Outcast Coming Home


Judges 11:1-28

Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior, but he was the son of a prostitute. Gilead was the father of Jephthah. And Gilead’s wife also bore him sons. And when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You shall not have an inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.” Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob, and worthless fellows collected around Jephthah and went out with him.

And when the Ammonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to bring Jephthah from the land of Tob. And they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our leader, that we may fight against the Ammonites.” But Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Did you not hate me and drive me out of my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?” And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That is why we have turned to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the Ammonites and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you bring me home again to fight against the Ammonites, and the Lord gives them over to me, I will be your head.” 10 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The Lord will be witness between us, if we do not do as you say.” 11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them. And Jephthah spoke all his words before the Lord at Mizpah.

Jephthah was a mighty warrior who was abandoned when he was a child because his mother was a prostitute. But God had great plans for this outcast. He was not about to be defined by his past but rather would be defined by God. Being an outcast means you will have no inheritance and no rights as a son. With his leadership, he was able to lead a group of fellows who they themselves were outcast by society.

It seems though his leadership was well known because when Israel was in trouble again, they called on Jephthah to lead them. This led him to ask them why they were bringing him back when they outcasted him in the future.

This is a picture of God’s amazing plan for somebody like Jephthah. You might be able to relate to him as someone who was not given a chance in the past, yet God makes a way to bring him back.

This is a picture of God’s love and grace also. Just like Jephthah, we were once outcast because of sin, yet in God’s grace, He brings us back not to a family whose love is conditional but to the unconditional love of the Father from heaven.

Some takeaway lessons from this story:

  1. Never give up on an outcast.
  2. God has bigger plans for you. Don’t let the past hold you back.
  3. When God restores, He restores us fully.

Talk it Over:

  1. Have you ever felt like Jephthah? Can you share us your experience how you can relate to him?
  2. Share your experience of restoration and redemption?



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