To many of us, family lineage is a matter of great pride. We like to tell people about our family background to show our gentry and also inheritance. Inheritance in the family also depends on how we are related to our family. Many also try to maintain a certain distance from other people who don’t belong in the same social class.
Jephthah was also going through the same difficulty. He was the son of Gilead but his mother was a prostitute, therefore his other half brothers who were from Gilead’s wives did not accept him and refuse to give him his share in his father’s inheritance. In fact, his half-brothers cast him out so that he may not even live with them. And we read that all his life he lived with a gang of scoundrels.
We learned three main things from the story of Jephthah. First, God can use us regardless of our background. We cannot change where we came from, yet God can use us in great ways despite our past. Second, we are not to make rash commitments or promises to God. In Jephthah’s case, he lost his only child over such an action. Third, even when we do the right thing, we may have to endure hardship from others. Jephthah certainly had to endure trouble from the people of Ephraim despite his being empowered by God’s Spirit to free Gilead from the Ammonites.