Jephthah was the illegitimate son of a man called Gilead. His mother was a prostitute. When he grew up, Gilead’s legitimate sons turned on him and chased him away. ‘“You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said.’ (Judges 11:2 NLT) So he ended up living in a cave. While there, he took a band of misfits and rebels and developed them into a great army. When the Ammonites threatened Israel, the elders turned to him for help.
‘But Jephthah said to them: “Aren’t you the ones who hated me and drove me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now when you’re in trouble?” “Because we need you,” the elders replied. “If you lead us in battle against the Ammonites, we will make you ruler over all the people of Gilead.”’ (Judges 11:7–8 NLT) Not only did Jephthah lead them to victory, he’s named with honour in the Bible along with people like Abraham, Moses, and David. His life is rich with lessons.
Here’s an important one: rejection can be part of God’s plan for your life. Jephthah was rejected for reasons beyond his control—he was illegitimate. But instead of growing bitter, he moved on and did something good with his life. Perhaps you’ve been rejected because you were old, young, intelligent, dumb, pretty, ugly, privileged, poor, attractive, unattractive, male, female, white, black, etc. By God’s grace Jephthah took an ugly situation and turned it into a beautiful one. And if you’ll turn your situation over to God today, the same grace is available to you.