"Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior. His father was Gilead; his mother was a prostitute." Judges 11:1
Jephthah was the son of a prostitute. His father had other sons, as well. Judges 11:2 says, "Geliad's wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. 'You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,' they said, 'because you are the son of another woman.'" This looks like another sad story about an illegitimate child driven away by cruel circumstances. Jephthah was an outcast, doomed to a life filled with loneliness and sadness. However, that is not how God works. Judges 11:29 says, "Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah." God chose Jephthah to save his father's people. The brothers found Jephthah and asked him to come back to help them fight the Ammonites. Jephthah could have said, "No!" He could have gone his own way and done his own thing. Isn't that what the world teaches us to do? But instead, Jephthah went the way God wanted him to go. Judges 11:11 says, "So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them." God used Jephthah to take down the Ammonites, the Amorites, and the Ephraimites. Judges 12:7 says, "Jephthah led Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in a town in Gilead."
I love the story of Jephthah. God used the son of a prostitute, an outcast, to save Israel. I don't know where you are in life. Maybe you are an outcast. Maybe everyone has given up on you. Maybe you've given up on yourself. But please know this: GOD HASN'T GIVEN UP ON YOU! God can use you to do great things! God can use you to make an impact on the people in your life! Will you choose the way of the world? Or will you choose the way of the Lord? Jephthah chose the way of the Lord, and God blessed him and the people he served!