This week’s Haftarah portion is Judges 11:1-33. Listen in as Dr. Jeffrey Myers discusses Yiftach as a man of faith, and the impossible decision he had to make.
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftarah:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftarah Portion – Judges 11:1-33
The ultimate hero of this haftorah is Adonai who in His infinite wisdom and power orchestrates all the circumstances that lead to a mighty victory. Our own lives directed by the Ruach HaKodesh can bring victories out of many testings, trials, and circumstances. Yah who steps out of time and goes from the beginning to the end and back again knows every decision that man will make and creates a path that brings about His will. Adonai had prepared Yiftach, the judge of Israel, for such a time as this. He prepared him for his role through every step of his life beginning at his birth and continuing through his life. Yah will use us to bring about His will and purpose. He uses the negative and positive situations to bring about His desires. What is so powerful about our Abba is that He creates a solution even before the crisis exists and even before we ask or need His help. He is no respecter of persons; by His mighty hand He orchestrates and controls every event of history. He is involved in our lives, shaping our destiny and bringing us into His plan using every moment from birth until now, every situation, every good and bad circumstance, our future and our destiny. We praise HaShem because He is sovereign, and He is in control. Paul said in Rom. 8:28, “We know that Yah causes all things to work together for good to those who love Yah, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Yiftach is included among the men of faith in Heb. 11, he was a man of faith who acted as Yah’s agent to deliver Israel from their enemies. Yiftach makes a vow proclaiming that the first thing that comes out of his house when he returns will be sacrificed to Adonai for his victory. He did not anticipate what that would be but was willing to fulfill this vow no matter what to establish Israel’s victory. Sadly, upon his return, the Scriptures tell us that “his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines. She was his only child; he had no other son or daughter”. What a sacrifice…will he take his vow back, is the cost too much, will YHVH let him off the hook? Surely, Yah saw his heart and knowing the situation will release him from his vow? However, it is now that his heart will be revealed. Sometimes we make proclamations to Yah not knowing the repercussions. We stand proclaiming our intentions without understanding the sacrifice that might be required. Let your yay be yay and your nay be nay! We commit ourselves but have forgotten to count the cost. What are we willing to give for the sake of the purpose of Yah? He knew who or what was in his house when he made the vow but he didn’t consider the cost. Judges 11:35 says, “When he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “Oh, no, my daughter! You’re breaking my heart! Why must you be the cause of such pain to me? I made a vow to Adonai, and I can’t go back on my word.” Wow…let that ring in your ears! This is his only child, a daughter that could produce an heir, someone who will continue the lineage. His vow not only affects his daughter but him and his physical legacy. What would we do? Would we change our mind? Would we pretend we didn’t make the vow? Would we cry out for mercy and try to manipulate Yah to get out of our commitment? How many vows, promises have we made to Yah but when the cost was realized we turn back, we go back on our word?
The sacrifice for victory was greater than expected for Yiftach and his daughter. However, he would NOT go back on his word. For the next two months they mourned the loss of marriage, children, legacy and after two months she came to her father and for the rest of her life remained a virgin. This sacrifice was greater than death, a death is mourned and then you continue on with fond memories of a life well lived. This sacrifice was a daily one, reminding him of the cost of victory and the cost to his daughter as well. Yiftach’s fulfillment of his vow makes him a hero and a man of faith. A man willing to sacrifice his own legacy for the legacy of Israel. Are you willing to sacrifice who you are, what you could gain for the sake of YHVH? What sacrifice will you give and at what cost?
As people of faith there will always be a cost. Yeshua spoke to the crowd that was following Him about the cost of discipleship in Luke 14. He told them that if they wanted to follow Him, they had to hate their own father, mother, wife, children, brother, sister, and even their own life, or they could not be His disciple. Such strong language…meaning that our love for Him, His plan, and His purpose should be top priority in our lives. Of course, He doesn’t want us to hate our family but can our love for them cause us to go back on our commitment to Yeshua?
Yiftach is a powerful example of integrity, he wasn’t going back on his word even though it was going to cost him his only child. We must count the cost of our decision and then be willing to follow through because of our love for Yeshua. Yeshua said, “Anyone of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” This way of faith is not a blab it and grab it, abundance gospel but a way of life, one of sacrifice, commitment, and integrity trusting that Yah is in control and He is faithful to fulfill His will.
Yeshua finishes teaching by proclaiming that “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Do we have spiritual ears to hear what Yeshua is saying to us? We’re not worthless but can be useless if we are not willing to pay the cost.
Today we want an easy gospel, a gospel of blessing, mercy and grace only. We don’t want responsibility, integrity and commitment that will cost! However, if you want the victory that Yah offers, it might just cost you! It might ask you to give up everything, it might ask you to give up the one thing you desire, the one thing you hold most precious.
On this Sabbath day…Take delight in Adonai, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to Adonai, trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be like Yiftach…” I made a vow to Adonai; and I can’t go back on my word.”
Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha
Join us every Wednesday @ 7 pm and every Saturday @ 11 am for Sabbath service at Lion of Judah Ministries, 612 North Main St. in Blackstone, VA.
Join us on the internet for our service at FACEBOOK LIVE, Lion of Judah Youtube, or visit our website at www.lojministries.org or download the Lion of Judah app and have the ministry at your fingertips 24/7
Enjoy this Sabbath day Adonai has given you. Praise Him, Seek Him and worship Him for He is KING!