Make every day PAY-DAY

Original, unrestored version of "Jephtha'...

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Pay day is one of the happiest days of everyone’s week. In the event you get paid every two weeks like my wife, then pay-day is one of the biggest relief of ever fourteen days. But what is a “spiritual pay-day”? Remember Jephthah? Probably not. His story is miniscule compared to Deborah & Samson’s stories in the Book of Judges. But his is vital to our everyday spiritual lives. This brings me to a question for you: Have you ever gave your word, and for whatever reason taken it back? Have you ever done it to God? Either directly, or indirectly?

Today’s key verse comes from Judges 11:35 and reads: “I have given my word to God, I can’t take it back”. A little back story on Jeph (I am calling him Jeph for short) is that Jeph was simply not wanted, even before his birth. His father cheated on his wife, with a whore and out came Jeph 9 months later. He was cursed by his half-brothers, and when his father passed away, they completely cut him out of the will. Even before that though, he was not even allowed to visit the home of his father in Israel, instead he was outcast. While his story seems to have been lost in the shuffle of Old Testament lessons, to me, after reading about him and studying over him, Jeph is now officially one of the most heroic people who ever lived.

Most of our fondest and vivid memories are from our childhood homes. Not because of how ritzy the homes were, but because we viewed those homes through the eyes of a child in constant wonder and amazement with the world around us. In college football there is an age-old rivalry between Indiana and Purdue. The prize for this game is “The Old Oaken Bucket” a trophy. That trophy has a poem attached that reads: How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood when fond recollection presents them to view- The orchard, the meadow, the deep tangled wildwood, And every loved spot which my infancy knew. That was written by Sam Woodworth in 1818 just for that game and prize. But it is very true, our childhood memories are generally our favorites. Jeph was robbed by his own father of that.

In the 1700s Gray wrote: “Full many a gem or purest ray serene. The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear. Fully many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air”. What godly traits or characteristics of true goodness every really go unnoticed? I just can’t seem to imagine God giving a gift so grand to someone, and that gift never being used to the benefit of others. So here we find Jeph, finally being called by his Heavenly Father to action. I’ve learned that if you learn to do something that the children of God need, that the children of God will come knocking on your door.

The elders of Israel came knocking at Jeph’s door one day. Keep in mind that he was not a man of war, he had made his own good living without his family’s help, and was a true man of faith in God. The elders wanted him to come lead the armies of Israel into battle, God sent them. I can see his brothers now, even after teasing, taunting, and mistreating him his whole life, bragging that their brother was now the leader of Israel’s armies! How magically proud to be his kin they were! And while you are shaking your head reading this today, you and I are no different from them my friends. Have any of you ever bragged about the distant relative we have that is a total economical or social outcast? Doubtful. But, if the absolute most distant relative we have were to become rich and famous we would be singing in the streets over it! I will be concluding this message tomorrow, but today I want to remind you just how often we behave like the children of Israel, and even more so, like Jeph’s brothers. We want nothing to do with many people until we need them for something.

God Bless, and check back in tomorrow for the conclusion.

Chris

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One Response to “Make every day PAY-DAY”

  1. Pat Says:

    Oh this is good!!! See ya soon.

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