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WHAT IF GOD...? Thought-Provoking Reflections About God  (Click on title for more information)


 

IS  GOD CRUEL? IS GOD LOVE?


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Cursing of  Ground

Cain and Abel

Noah's Flood

Sodom and Gomorrah

Lot's Wife

Joseph in Slavery

Pharaoh

The Destruction of the Canaanites

Jephtha's Daughter

Death of David's Child

David's Punishment for the Census   

 Israel's Captivity

Judah's Captivity

Samson

Sennacherib and his Armies

Removal of Foreign Wives

Christ's Sacrifice

Ananiah and Sapphira

Paul's Suffering  

Catastrophes of Last Days


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WHAT IF GOD HAD SAVED JEPHTHAH’S DAUGHER’S LIFE?

 

          One of the most heart-rending and perplexing stories in the Bible is the story of Jepthah and his daughter.  Jephthah was the son of Gilead and a harlot. His brothers, sons of Gilead’s wife, drove Jephtha out so as not to share their inheritance with him. “Then Jephthah fled with from his brothers and dwelt in the land of Tob; and worthless men banded together with Jephthah and went out raiding with him”  (Judges 11: 3).

          Some time after, the children of Ammon made war against Israel, and so the elders of Israel went to seek out Jephthah to convince him to come back and lead the army against the Ammonites. Jephthah accepted the offer and became the leader of the army. Before the confrontation between the two armies took place, Jephtha made the now infamous vow: “ If you will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s and I will offer it up as a burnt offering” (Judges 11:31).

          God delivered Israel and gave them a great victory and “the people of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel” (Judges 11:33). Ecstatic Jephthah returned home “with timbrel and dancing” but, unfortunately, the first one to welcome him was his only child. Jephthah was devastated by what he saw and “tore his clothes” and said to his daughter, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the Lord, and I cannot go back on it” (Judges 11: 35).

          Jephtha’s daughter reacted with a total spirit of submission. She simply asked her father that she be allowed to wander on the mountains for two months to “bewail her virginity” (Judges 11:38). At the end of the two months, “she returned to her father and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed” (Judges 11:39).

          God watched the whole story and did not intervene—a totally perplexing decision. After all, had He not intervened with Abraham and Isaac? Is God not averse to human sacrifices? Did God not cleanse the land of Canaan of its inhabitants because, in large part, they “passed their children through the fire” (That is, they sacrificed their children to their gods). How could that same God allow Jephtha to kill his own daughter?

          Let’s go back to Jephtha’s original mistake. Jephtha promised that he would sacrifice “anything” that would come out to welcome him upon his return. By that he also included humans—most probably his servants. Could it be that that was the reason God allowed him to go through his excruciating experience? Jephtha’s callousness may have deserved a sobering consequence. His callousness and cruelty toward others ended up rebounding onto himself.

          What if God had intervened? What if God had sent an angel to stop him from his horrific act like He did with Abraham? 

If He had intervened, we would have been reassured as to God’s seeming kindness and forgiveness, but what would have happened to Jephtha? What would have happened within Israel? What effect would it have had on the multitudes that would have read or heard about it in Israel?

            We can speculate that if Jephtha would not have been consequenced, he might have remained hasty and foolish. Israel would have had a written record that God is somewhat weak and that He forgives foolishness all too easily. God had wanted Israel to “fear” Him. The carnal nation of Israel was not motivated by love and gratitude toward God but by fear. Oaths are promises made before God and they must not be made hastily. The book of Deuteronomy emphasizes the seriousness of making vows to God: “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God surely will require it of you, and it would be sin to you” (Deut. 23:21).

If God had intervened, the seriousness of the event would have been undermined. The fact that oaths must not be taken lightly would not have been emphasized nor would have the reality that foolishness has a way repaying us with disastrous consequences. Therefore, what appears to have been an incomprehensible act of callousness on God’s part once again shows much wisdom and justice as do all of His actions.

         

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Booklet cover: Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

 

 

AUTHOR'S OTHER SITES

       GOD SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF THE GREATEST MINDS

WHAT IF GOD...? THOUGHT-PROVOKING REFLECTIONS ABOUT GOD

GOD AND JESUS CHRIST: THEIR EXISTENCE, NATURE, WILL AND WORD

       TEN GREAT PROOFS OF GOD'S EXISTENCE 

GOD AND THE GREATEST SCIENTISTS

GOD AND THE GREATEST WRITERS AND POETS

GOD AND THE GREATEST ARTISTS

      GOD AND GREAT PHILOSOPHERS  

       WHO REALLY KILLED JESUS CHRIST?

IS THE GOD OF THE BIBLE A CRUEL GOD OR IS HE LOVE AND JUSTICE?

 

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Does God exist?

 
 
 
Is God Really Love?
 
 
 
Is God Eternal?
 
 
 
Why Did God Create Angels?
 
 
Why Did God  Destroy Noah's world?

 

IS GOD REALLY LOVE OR IS HE CRUEL?

 

These and many more critical questions are answered in the author's book ,

WHAT IF GOD...?

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